Windsor Host Sixth Annual FIRST Robotics Competition with Visit From the Honourable Patty Hajdu – Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Media Release


WINDSOR, ON (March 27, 2019) - Forty teams representing 1500 high school students from across Ontario will land with their robots at the St. Denis Centre this weekend March 29-30th for the Sixth Annual Windsor Essex Great Lakes District FIRST Robotics competition.

They are part of the FIRST Robotics competition that partners students with professional engineers, programmers, skilled workers and entrepreneurs over a six week period to design and build 120 pound robots that compete in an arena.

In the past, these robots shot basketballs and Frisbees 200 feet into scoring baskets and climbed 10-foot steel pyramids. This year's challenge is called Destination: Deep Space presented by Boeing Company to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing.

The public is encouraged to attend Friday - 10am to 7pm - and Saturday - 8:30am to 5:30pm - at the St. Denis Centre where admission is FREE.

This year's competition will welcome The Honourable Paddy Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on Friday, March 29th from 2:45pm-3:45pm.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is supported by over 4,000 companies worldwide including over half of all FORTUNE 500 companies such as Boeing, Bombardier, FCA and Google.

Platinum Sponsor CenterLine is among dozens of regional industry partners and organizations – including Gold Sponsors St. Clair College and the University of Windsor - that are supporting the tournament and supporting local teams to provide young people with paths to promising careers in science and technology.

Students who participate in FIRST are twice as likely to attend university and college and twice as likely to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

WEtech Alliance - a Regional Innovation Centre - in partnership with industry, the University of Windsor, St. Clair College and community stakeholders are committed to growing FIRST Robotics in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

 "FIRST Robotics is an important investment in the economic future of our region. The Faculties of Engineering and Science at the University of Windsor are proud sponsors of FIRST because it inspires students to pursue a degree in STEM and provides them with marketable skills in problem solving, collaboration and communication.” says Dr. Chris Houser, Dean of the Faculty of Science. 

"FIRST Robotics is a microcosm of a college education," says St. Clair College President Patti France. "Theoretical knowledge is coupled with hands-on technical skills to resolve real-world challenges. That describes every program at the college, and both our educational philosophy and method. So, it's not surprising that we've been a sponsor of the FIRST Robotics program – and its elementary, Lego-building counterpart – since their inceptions. And I think watching these young people reinforces an important message for our college students and adults too: learning can be extremely fun." 

Larry Koscielski, Vice President of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chair of Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics says, "At CenterLine we use people to build robotic automation and other things - FIRST in many ways, uses robots to build people. This event has to be experienced in person to witness and feel the impact we are having on these kids.”

"Each robotics team is run like a tech start-up with future coders and engineers working alongside aspiring graphic designers, future business leaders and innovators,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance

For more information please contact:

WHEN: March 29-31, 2018 starting 8:30am

WHERE: St. Denis Centre @ the University of Windsor

WHO:1500 high school students on over 30 teams and 2500 spectators each day




Media Contact:
Larry F. Koscielski
Vice President of Process & Technology Development
CenterLine (Windsor) Ltd.


Irek Kusmierczyk, PhD
Director of Partnerships
WEtech Alliance


About Windsor Essex FIRST
Windsor Essex FIRST is a volunteer group that acts as the regional arm of FIRST Canada and works year-round to promote FIRST in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. Thanks to the effort and dedication of hundreds of volunteers - Windsor-Essex FIRST also coordinates events such as the annual Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Competition.