MEDIA RELEASE via Windsor-Essex FIRST
WINDSOR, ON., June 22, 2021 – Five local high school graduates are the recipients of a $1000 bursary established and generously provided by Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics (WEFR), a group that promotes and delivers FIRST Robotics Canada programming in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
“It was incredible to witness the resilience of our local teams this year as they participated in virtual competitions that challenged them in ways no one could expect. These 5 graduating students stood out as the cream of the crop. We wish them well and they continue their studies and trust that FIRST has prepared them for their journey” says Larry Koscielski, VP of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chair of Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics.
The annual bursaries are named in honour of James Broom and Spencer James – a student and mentor of FIRST Robotics teams at Maranatha Christian Academy and Belle River High School respectively – who passed away in 2014.
“Both James and Spencer inspired the people around them, and we established this bursary to honour that legacy” says Koscielski.
The following students from the following high schools received bursaries to attend the following post-secondary institutions:
Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Windsor, Biological Sciences
Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Waterloo, Chemical Engineering with Co-op
Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Windsor, Communication, Media and Film
St. Anne Catholic High School (SainsBots Team 4688), University of Waterloo, Mechatronics Engineering
Essex District High School (Build A Dream Amazon Warriors Team 6875), University of Waterloo, Life Sciences
“This year’s submissions highlighted that even in the absence of in-person competitions, students have remained engaged and plan to stay connected to FIRST as volunteers or mentors,” says Michelle Bondy, a WEFR board member who chaired this year’s bursary selection committee. “We wish them all the best with their post-secondary studies, and look forward to seeing them at a future Windsor Essex Great Lakes District event!”
FIRST Robotics Competition is an international robotics program wherein high school students work alongside teachers and professional mentors to design and build 120-pound robots. The “game” the robots compete in changes every year, and is only announced six weeks before the competitions begin.
In 2013, there was only one high school FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team and one FIRST Lego League (FLL) team operating at the grade school level.
Before the pandemic there were 17 high school and 48 grade school robotics teams competing in Windsor-Essex and Kent Counties. Nine high school teams and 20 grade school teams were involved in FIRST in the area this year.
Windsor is also home to the Windsor Essex Great Lakes District (WEGLD) Event, which draws 1500 high school students from across North America annually to compete at the University of Windsor’s St. Denis Centre. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Windsor Essex Great Lakes District Event was cancelled.
About Windsor-Essex FIRST
Windsor Essex FIRST is a volunteer group that acts as a the regional arm of FIRST Canada and works year round to promote FIRST in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. Thanks to the effort and dedication of hundreds of volunteers – Windsor-Essex FIRST also coordinates events such as the annual Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Competition. www.windsoressexfirst.org