2 minute read

UMEI unveils Robotic Zone

By Paul Forman

Students and staff alike at the UMEI Christian High School were excited as local politicians, major donors and the general public were able to see the amazing work being done through the school’s enriched robotics program at their November 22nd Open House.

UMEI Director of Enrolment & Community Engagement, Chani Weins, along with Principal Sonya Bedal, warmly welcomed guests to the robotics tour. A ribbon cutting ceremony followed to reveal the school’s revitalized space that began with humble beginnings in 2007.

Retired teacher and now Director of Enriched Robotics, John Fittler, led visitors through a tour of the many workspaces incorporating robotic design. Fittler indicated that “the robotics program is all about problem solving and keeping students in the area with good hightech jobs.”

“Now is the time to collaborate with local industries, especially as it relates to emerging technology in the greenhouse sector,” added Fittler.

A number of students were on hand demonstrating

how they design and test their robotic creations. Grade 11 student Ben Recker said, “The program is a lot of fun and is helping me look at a number of careers.”

Student Isabel Neufeld reinforced sentiments provided by Fittler as she stated, “I like how we can be independent and can do some problem solving on our own.”

Robotics team member Aiden Brown eagerly indicated that the school posts daily updates about their progress with the robots and can be accessed through Instagram bysearching @thethunderbirds_19530.

The school competed in this year’s first robotics competition on November 26 in Scarborough, followed by another competition on December 4 in Windsor. Students have a chance to really step it up in the new year as they take part in the First Robotics Canada competition involving a mystery challenge they have yet to tackle.

Director of Enriched Robotics John Fittler poses with the school’s entry from a recent First Robotics Canada competition.

Director of Enriched Robotics John Fittler poses with the school’s entry from a recent First Robotics Canada competition.

Students Ben Recker, Aiden Brown and Isabel Neufeld demonstrated the stacking abilities of their robots.

Students Ben Recker, Aiden Brown and Isabel Neufeld demonstrated the stacking abilities of their robots.