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RMT Robotics mentors students in FIRST Lego League and robotics competitions

Mentors inspire students of all ages to pursue robotics science, technology, engineering and math
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
December 14, 2011

Employees of RMT Robotics, a Cimcorp Oy company, are donating their time to mentoring teams of local Ontario elementary, secondary and high school students in preparation for the annual FIRST Lego League (F.L.L.) and FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC).

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is dedicated to inspiring young people to be leaders in science and technology through hands-on, team-based robotics challenges. Teams are supported by local mentors who provide engineering experience and technical expertise to students throughout the creation and competition stages of FIRST robotics challenges.

RMT employees have been involved with a variety of age-specific FIRST robotics teams for the past five years –even starting a new team in 2011. Mentoring programs include:

  *  Elementary School: RMT Engineering Manager Matt Alderson coaches F.L.L. team GARF, eight students from Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School building robots out of Lego pieces while researching real-life engineering problems surrounding food safety. GARF will compete as defending champions in the F.L.L. Food Factor Challenge on Dec. 17, 2011, at Niagara College. Alderson and GARF are also serving as mentors to a new F.L.L. team at St. Thomas School in Waterdown, Ontario.
 
  *  High School: Alderson started a new team in 2011, “MakeShift Robotics” team 4039, at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Dundas, Ontario. Made up of 20 students, “MakeShift Robotics” will compete with their robot at the Waterloo Regional Qualifier March 22-24, 2012, at the University of Waterloo. RMT employees, including RMT Manager of Operations Rick Trigatti, have assisted and mentored FIRST team 2056 from Stoney Creek, and new team 4022 from Waterdown High School in Ontario. Billed by FIRST as the “varsity sport for the mind,” high school teams and their mentors spend six weeks building robots from an unassembled kit of parts, program those robots and compete in regional and national competitions throughout the season.

In addition to teaching students job skills in the fields of design, programming, web development, finance, marketing and project management, mentors to FIRST teams serve as positive role models who inspire values of teamwork, self-starting and time management.

“FIRST competitions are a great way to spark interest in the fields of engineering, science and technology among students,” said Alderson. “RMT is proud to be a part of these innovative and exciting programs to support the next generation of robotics engineers.”

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