FIRST Robotics Competition at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

FIRST Robotics Competition at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

BC’s Regional Robotics Competition a Success in Victoria, BC!
FIRST Robotics Canada, partner GSL Group, and sponsor Microsoft Canada, hosted the first inaugural and successful B.C. Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. From March 14th until 16th, 2018, thirty robotics teams—along with their robots, built and programmed by high school students—participated in the first competition of its kind at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in B.C. This event showcased robots in an epic competition that combined sport, science, and teamwork.

The competition attracted more than 1,500 attendees including students, parents, teachers, and spectators. The Premier of British Columbia John Horgan and Ministers and MLA’s including Honourable Rob Fleming (Minister of Education), Honourable Melanie Mark (Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training), Honourable Bruce Ralston (Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology), Mr. Rick Glumac (Parliamentary Secretary for Technology), Ms. Mitzi Dean (Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equality) and Mr. Bob D’Eith (MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission), also attended the competition, toured the pits to talk to the students, and were impressed by the astounding student talent participating in the competition.

“We are absolutely thrilled at the success of this competition,” says Mark Breadner, President of FIRST Robotics Canada. “The enthusiasm, talent, and innovation from these students was remarkable. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year!”

Bringing this competition to B.C. was a personal goal of Graham Lee’s, President and CEO of GSL Group, after first learning about the program from Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics. The launch of this event in B.C. is a key part of GSL Group’s philanthropic strategy, which focuses on community, innovation and technology.

A number of awards were given out during the event and four teams qualified for the FIRST World Championship in Houston starting April 18, 2018. Esquimalt High School, sponsored by GSL Group, won the Rookie All Star award, as well as qualifying for the FIRST World Championship, an impressive achievement in their first year of competition. The three other qualifying teams include North Surrey Secondary School in Surrey, Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge, and Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization encouraging kids in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Under strict time limitations, students design and build 120-pound robots that compete on a playing field to complete tasks. Students program and test their machines using skills in engineering, coding, and design. Teams also develop business and marketing plans, as well as outreach initiatives to fundraise and engage their local community.

For more information about FIRST Robotics Canada, visit
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international non-profit organization designed to inspire students to pursue further studies and careers in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. Students develop skills in problem solving, innovation, leadership and teamwork as well as design, manufacturing, programming and testing. FIRST’s programs reach 300,000 students in 70 countries. FIRST Robotics Canada, a Canadian non-profit started in 2002, now reaches 20,000 Canadian students. FIRST is grateful to Microsoft for their support of the B.C. Regional.

For more information on GSL Group, visit
GSL Group, founded by Graham Lee, is headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. with offices and operations in Kelowna and Victoria. The company’s divisions span a wide range of industries including real estate development, holdings and construction, sports, entertainment, recreational facilities, travel and hospitality, health and fitness, agriculture and e-commerce.