Surrey’s students are being encouraged to build better robots.
Two high schools in North Surrey are among schools that have benefited from a $250,000 grant from the provincial government to First Robotics BC, to that end.
Students from L.A. Matheson Secondary and North Surrey Secondary were among five B.C. schools to participate in the 2019 First Championship in Houston, Texas last month. Each team received $5,000 toward its competition fees.
“Through our robotics program, youth earn important life skills,” said Ian Koscielski, regional director of First Robotics BC. “A sense of purpose, a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement. Developing innovative and highly technical skills and attitudes is essential to our participants’ future success, as well as B.C.’s science and technology advancement and economic growth potential. We are delighted the B.C. government is supporting our efforts as we continue to grow province-wide.”
Premier John Horgan said the one-time grant is intended to help students hone their skills in the what the government calls the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to “help build a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”
First Robotics BC will use the grant to train teachers, improve curriculum resources and hire more staff to mentor students across the province. The group is expected to expand its program coverage by more that 600 students this year, to 1,795 participants on 2019 from 1,170 last year.
Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston, minister of jobs, training and technology, said that “by encouraging students to explore various tech programs, such as robotics, we are opening their minds to the potentials of a promising career in B.C.’s diverse tech sector.”