Students from Kingston and the surrounding area that don't have a FRC team at their high school now have the option of participating in FIRST Robotics through rookie FRC team #4476, The W.A.F.F.L.E.S. (Wild About Family & Friends Learning Engineering and Science). This community based (versus school based) team will give more students access to the opportunities available through FIRST.
We have just six weeks (Jan 5 - Feb 19, 2013) to design, build and program our robot to compete in the regional competition we are attending in Oshawa (March 7-9, 2013) . Students work alongside mentors (local professionals from Bombardier, Dupont, Invista, Queen's, etc.) to learn a variety of skills including; mechanical and electrical fabrication, programming, business skills, public speaking, computer aided design, project management, website development, computer animation, teamwork, time management, etc.
The W.A.F.F.L.E.S. are about much more than just "building robots". We have a team culture that is community focused. In December we took the lead in the organization of the Kingston FIRST LEGO League (FLL) regional for 9-14 year-olds and hosted a Jr. FLL Expo for ages 6-9. We can regularly be found filling volunteer roles around the province as our way of giving back to the community and inspiring others.
FIRST is a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2011-2012 FIRST season attracted close to 300,000 youth and more than 100,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from 60+ countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
Funded by Kingston, ON (February 2013)