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L3 WESCAM Support Powers High Schoolers To Robotics Competition

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The robotics team is one of the most well-attended clubs at Burlington Central High School, and students and teachers alike are praising the support provided by L3 WESCAM with helping power this year’s success.

L3 WESCAM’s sponsorship of Burlington Central’s robotics team included a $1,000 contribution, as well as the donation of four CAD workstations to support the group in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The L3 WESCAM-supplied CAD workstations were used to replace some older systems.

Chris Arnold is the lead mentor of the school’s robotics program, which has featured a team competing in the FIRST Robotics competition for the past decade.

“L3 donated money, which is always nice because we can then direct the funds to one of the many areas that can use it,” he said. “Things like equipment (bearings, electrical components, raw stock, tools, etc.), uniforms — we silk screened our own shirts this year, but the supplies still cost us — entrance fees, accommodation costs and transportation.”

FIRST Robotics (in this case, FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a worldwide high school program involving some 100,000 participants.

BCHS robotics team

Members of the Burlington Central High School robotics club utilized a sponsorship from L3 WESCAM to reach the FIRST Robotics Competition Ontario District Championships, which took place the week of April 11.

The Burlington Central team is made up of approximately 50 kids from grades 9-12. The members of the program can select the areas they want to specialize and/or have an interest in and are free to move from group to group.  Participation on the team opened members up to learning a variety of skills, including machining, welding, wiring, programming, packaging and troubleshooting, not to mention learning to cope with the stress to meet a tight deadline.

The number of girls on the robotics team is increasing year-by-year, with 12 included on this latest.

Lauren Olsen is team captain and was quick to praise the support of L3 WESCAM.

“As you can imagine, there are many expenses involved in organizing a robotics team,” Olsen wrote in a thank you letter to the company. “Your contribution was an integral part of our success. Without the support of people and companies like yours, we would not be able to achieve our goal.”

As the team assembled their robot, the criteria for their creation included the ability to lift and stack packages onto teeter-totters, and also perform self-lifting feats.

The robot weighed in at 120 lbs., stood at a height of approximately five-feet, and could lift approximately 200 lbs. It worked in a programmed, autonomous mode and also a remote-controlled mode depending on the competition it was placed in.

Having finished in fourth place at a pair of regional events, the Burlington Central team qualified for the Ontario District Championships, which took place the week of April 11. After two days of regular match play, Burlington Central ended in 16th place out of 40 teams and were once again selected to be in the playoffs.

However, they were knocked out early and did not then qualify for the World Championships in Detroit.

Most components in the robot were built by the students themselves.

Most components in the robot were built by the students themselves.

While Arnold praised the company for the donation of the CAD stations, L3 WESCAM interim President Matt Richi was eager to congratulate the team on its efforts.

L3 WESCAM is looking for highly skilled engineers and technology professionals across a wide range of disciplines to join our team. We champion fresh, new thinking. We celebrate innovation. So with this donation, we’re excited the students will have a much more efficient and more enjoyable learning experience.

L3 WESCAM’s support for the innovators of tomorrow extends to a number of initiatives.

In addition to the sponsorship of the Burlington Central robotics team, the company also supports Mohawk College, as well as the DM High Voltage Robotics Team 2852, the Queen’s Hyperloop Design Team, the Burlington team competing in the MIT Combat Robotics Battlebots and the Bishop Ryan Celt-X Robotics Team 5406.

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