Hatch helps kick-off FIRST Robotics 2018/2019 season

Volunteer judges Andrew Skoko, Hilbert Li, Rachel Ko, and Ahmed Ujjainwala represent Hatch at the FIRST LEGO® League tournament in Oakville, Canada.
Volunteer judges Andrew Skoko, Hilbert Li, Rachel Ko, and Ahmed Ujjainwala represent Hatch at the FIRST LEGO® League tournament in Oakville, Canada.

FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) recently kicked off their 2018-2019 event season, “Into Orbit”, with regional tournaments across Canada. The FLL program introduces younger students, ages 6-10, to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and is the precursor to the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). These young students take on real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO®-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. The regional tournaments are the first opportunity for teams to show off what they’ve learned and invented, and to compete with their robots.

At the Halton FLL tournament on December 1st, held at Holy Trinity Secondary School in Oakville, Hatch presented the Hatch Positive Change Award to the Oakville “Balancing Space Bots” team—one of the 22 teams at the competition. Four of Hatch’s young professionals attended the event and participated as volunteer judges. “It is incredibly inspiring to see kids as young as 6 and 7 tackling real-world engineering challenges,” said judge Rachel Ko, process engineer-in-training at Hatch.

FIRST, which stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition for Science and Technology", is a registered charity and volunteer-run organization with an exemplary track record of promoting science, technology, and engineering to the next generation. FIRST Robotics’ mission is to inspire young people to pursue further studies in these fields by running robotics competitions for students at the elementary and high-school levels.

Hatch is a platinum sponsor of FIRST Robotics (including both FLL and FRC) and supports a dozen FRC teams from Vancouver to Sudbury. Now, we’re headed east, looking to expand our FIRST Robotics support to include teams and volunteers from Québec right through to Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Our involvement in this event each year goes beyond just sponsorship," explained Joe Lombard, global managing director of metals and member of the FIRST Canada Executive Advisory Board. "Every year, our people roll up their sleeves and get involved, whether it's lending their technical expertise through student mentorship for months leading up to the event, or participating in regional events by judging, or refereeing. This is just one example of our commitment to building up the next generation of innovators and leaders."

The FIRST Robotics Competition will kick-off in January and culminate in championship tournaments held in April 2019. Like FLL, this year’s theme for the FIRST Robotics Competition is “Destination: Deep Space”.

Watch the following video to learn more about Hatch’s involvement in First Robotics.

For more information about FIRST Canada, visit >firstroboticscanada.org.