FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIRST LEGO League Ontario Innovation Celebration showcases 17 innovative solutions from youth entrepreneurs to improve animal and human interactions

Two teams of students, aged 9-14 will advance to represent Ontario in the Global Innovation Award

March 23, 2017, YORK REGION, ON –On February 25, 2017, FIRST Robotics Canada, in partnership with ventureLAB and hosted at IBM Canada headquarters, held the second annual FIRST LEGO League Ontario Innovation Celebration. The Ontario Innovation Celebration (OIC) uniquely focuses on innovative projects with commercial potential designed by young entrepreneurs. An off-shoot of the FIRST Lego League Competitions, the OIC brought together 17 finalist teams, each consisting of students ages 9-14, to pitch their innovative solutions for this year’s Animal Allies theme, aimed at improving interactions between humans and animals.  The event was attended by Minister Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science and featured keynote speaker Andrea Palmer, CEO of Awake Labs.

Two winning teams from the event will represent Ontario at the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award, competing with teams from all over the world for one of 20 spots in the semi-finals which take place in Washington D.C. in June 2017. The winning team will receive $20,000 to make their innovation a reality!

The 17 finalist teams earned their way to the Ontario Innovation Celebration through FIRST LEGO League Ontario’s regional championships and qualifying system. Leading up to the Ontario event on February 25, the teams were paired with expert mentors to help refine their presentations, learn the basics of entrepreneurship, and participated in workshops on customer discovery, value proposition, storytelling, and protecting intellectual property.

The Ontario Innovation Celebration is a first-of-its-kind event that celebrates the creative talent of Ontario’s youth entrepreneurs at a grade school level. Last year, the two winning teams placed in the top 20 in the world, representing a significant showing for Canada’s young teams.

 

Meet the Winners

The Fonthill Nurdles, from Fonthill, ON, developed the Bee Hydration Station, a pollinator water system which provides continual fresh water for the bees and waters the surrounding pollinator attracting flowers as well. The station is a 3D-printed flower plumbed with micro-irrigation tubing, connecting to a rain barrel or hose to provide a shallow clean water source to help improve the health of the bee population.

The Hydrators, from Oakville, ON, designed an outdoor watering system for multiple horses in a pasture who are drinking from only one water source. The system will allow a farmer to monitor their horses’ drinking amounts on a regular basis, preventing any future and potential health complications.

About FIRST LEGO League

The FIRST LEGO League is an international competition organized by FIRST for elementary and middle school students (ages 9–14 in the USA and Canada, 9–16 elsewhere). In late August each year, a new challenge is announced that focuses on a different real-world topic related to the sciences. For more information on the FIRST LEGO League, please contact us at info@firstroboticscanada.org or visit us at www.firstroboticscanada.org.

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a non-profit Regional Innovation Centre that supports innovative entrepreneurs across York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka District and the GTA as a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). ventureLAB is located in York Region, an integral leader in Ontario’s Digital Corridor which harnesses technology leadership of innovative, world-class and high-growth technology companies. Visit www.venturelab.ca for more information.

-30-

 

Contact:

Dave Ellis, Director, FIRST Robotics Canada, david.ellis@firstroboticscanada.org

Rachel Azagury, Director of Marketing, ventureLAB, razagury@venturelab.ca, 905-248-2710