The Rotary Club of Hamilton East-Wentworth is investing in the future with a donation to the Bishop Ryan High School Celt-X-5406 Robotics Team. “Robots Building Students” is the catchy phrase that highlighted the student presentation at the Rotary lunch meeting in November.   
This is not just a team of self proclaimed “Nerds, Geeks and Hackers”......
The Rotary Club of Hamilton East-Wentworth is investing in the future with a donation to the Bishop Ryan High School Celt-X-5406 Robotics Team. “Robots Building Students” is the catchy phrase that highlighted the student presentation at the Rotary lunch meeting in November.   
This is not just a team of self proclaimed “Nerds, Geeks and Hackers”.  Yes, the forty plus student group does meet four days a week after school and on Saturdays spending hundreds of hours to design, build and program a robot from scratch, but they are not just about Robots.  They are an all-inclusive group of students from all walks of life.  They are leaders in social change.  They run charity drives for food and clothing.  They reach out at the community events like maker fairs, science fairs, new student nights, pep rallies, sporting events and community information open houses.  They promote the message of F.I.R.S.T. (For the Inspiration of Robotics, Science and Technology) by co-hosting the off season STEMley Cup, mentoring and helping new teams start up and reaching back to their elementary schools and mentoring grades 3-8 in the FIRST Lego League.   
The students and volunteer mentors work under the core element of F.I.R.S.T. known as Gracious Professionalism, the belief that Character is what matters.  Compete, work and live with respect and kindness to others.  To lift one member of society is to lift all members of society.  To win honestly is the only way to win.
The team works out of The Robodrome inside the C.E.R.C. building in the downtown core of Hamilton.  Two classrooms have been converted to workshops and the gym to a practice field.  The space is provided to them by the HWCDSB with hopes to expand the facility to more rooms as more teams are brought into this ‘Facility for Robotics Excellence’.  The team has just completed a grueling 6 week build season where they learn multiple facets of engineering from CAD design, to robot manufacturing using CNC machinery and basic hand tools, electrical wiring and programming their robot to perform multiple tasks.  They learn more in the robotics club then they often can in the classroom.
This is the catalyst we need to restart our nation and bring technology industry back to Canada.  Most FIRST students go on to engineering post secondary educations and careers.  Many return to mentor other FIRST teams.  There are many post-secondary scholarships for FIRST students around the world.  The Big Colleges, NASA, Boeing, the government and military branches actively attend and recruit students at FIRST events because they know these are the best of the best.  Check out FIRST Canada!  “It is the Superbowl of Smart!”  - Morgan Freeman.
In it’s forth year, Celt-X-5406 is now training the drive team to operate their robot and working out the complicated game strategy for competition in two Ontario events to qualify for their return to Regional and World Championships in April, as they have done every year since forming.  They are currently ranked in the top 2 percent of 3000+ FIRST Teams in the world.
It is not cheap.  The average budget for a FIRST robotics team is between $50-$80,000.  The school board helps, the parents help a lot and the rest is from engaged companies and social clubs in the community.   Look to support a local team in your area.    Check out the team website  www.5406.ca for information, videos and links to FIRST Canada.  Check out the team’s social media posts and plan on attending the MacMaster competition April 6-8, 2018.  Your investment will make a huge return on society as a whole.
Bag Night Team Photo - The deadline for Robot Build Season