Springbank Community High School students heading to world robotics competition
They've built robots that stood out in their regional competitions and won the right to represent their school and country on the world stage in Houston, Texas.
The 2023 FIRST Tech Challenge will host high school students from all over, April 19 to 22.
And it's the first time since the robotics program started six years ago at Springbank Community High School (SCHS) that a team has qualified for a world championship.
The team earned the right after winning a provincial competition in Red Deer earlier in March, along with the Cyber Eagles from Edmonton.
"There's going to be lots of teams there that are probably going to be better than us," said Gabriel Burke, 16-year-old team lead.
"There are some teams that are sponsored by organizations like NASA. We don't have that, so there's going to be a lot of competition and we are pretty nervous about it, but we are working on a new robot right now that hopefully, we don't completely humiliate ourselves, so we should be OK."
Devin Corti is in Grade 11 and his first year on the team.
He knows he and his friends will be up against some larger schools with better funding, but he's trying to not let that intimidate him or his teammates on Springbank Robotics Team FTC 14023.
"Going to Houston is a great opportunity," he said.
"It allows us to meet so many more people and see so many more designs. There are going to be over 1,000 teams there and so there's just going to be so many people to talk to and so many different robots to see and so I think it'll be a cool experience."
Corti estimates the team will need $50,000 to get at least 16 people to Houston, including students, teachers and parents.
They're fundraising through bottle drives and raffles to get as much money as they can in a short amount of time.
"Since we went to provincials, we've gotten two sponsorships – one with Blue Spark Energy, which is a Calgary-based engineering company," he said.
"That's pretty big, and the other is with Bonnetts Energy Corp., which is another Calgary-based engineering company."
Lachlan Lenz joined the school robotics team when he was in Grade 9.
He's responsible for driving the robot around a circuit to drop cones onto poles of varying heights, but like all team members, he jumps into areas of the project wherever he's needed.
"We all kind of have a common goal to basically succeed in STEM and want to work towards either engineering or robotics in the future," he said.
"I want to go into engineering, aerospace engineering, and I think these skills that I've learned in this class really will help me work towards that goal."
Bob Mathew, the school's science teacher, says the robotics students have a big advantage after they graduate and move into post-secondary school.
"They have a head start," Mathew said.
"So, for example, we think that these robots (the high school students have built), they're third-, fourth-, fifth-year university robots, and they're doing it in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12."
Mathew says this can also improve their earning potential once they graduate and enter the job market.
"This opens the door for them and suddenly, they see a world of opportunity," he said.
"In this world, where everything seems so competitive, the opportunity is there for them because they've gone through these processes and are so young."
Burke and the other students are spending a lot of time in the school's innovation lab, working on a new version of their robot that they hope will see them do well in the world competition.
"I think it's going to look super good on the resume," he said.
"FTC, FRC is a pretty well-known Robotics Championship, so I think if we say that we made it to worlds, we won in Western Canada, they're going to realize like, wow, these kids really know what they're doing, these kids are innovators.
"They're going to see that and they're going to know, we can work well together and with other teams, too, so I think it's going to be a super good opportunity for us, in terms of putting it on college applications."
You can learn more about the SCHS robotics team at https://www.gofundme.com/f/schs-robotics-team.
Calgary Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Here's how major cities in Canada and the U.S. look blanketed by wildfire smoke
Photos show smoke-filled skies in cities across Canada and the U.S. as air quality warnings were issued in wake of the hundreds of wildfires from Quebec and Ontario.
WATCH | Rate hike 'may be the last straw' for some homeowners: mortgage broker
With the latest hike bringing Canada's key interest rates to levels not seen since 2001, one mortgage broker is warning that it may be 'the last straw' for some homeowners with variable mortgages.
Canadians more likely to support foreign interference inquiry than hearings: Nanos
Canadians are twice as likely to support a formal inquiry into foreign interference, as opposed to public hearings, according to new polling from Nanos Research for CTV News.
opinion | Eight takeaways from Prince Harry's seven hours on the witness stand
It's been a busy, tumultuous few days for Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex as he took his place on the witness stand in his trial against the Mirror Group Newspapers. Here are royal commentator Afua Hagan's top takeaways from his two-day grilling.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
Trudeau shows no interest in compromising with Meta, Google over online news bill
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing no interest in compromising with Meta and Google over a Liberal bill that would make them pay for Canadian journalism that helps the companies generate revenue.
Bank of Canada ends pause on hikes, raises policy rate by 25 basis points
The Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent on Wednesday, its first increase since pausing hikes in January.
Wrestling icon The Iron Sheik dead at 81
World Wrestling Entertainment legend The Iron Sheik has died. He was 81.
Wildfire smoke from Canada disrupts New York, Philadelphia flights
Some flights into the New York City area on Wednesday were delayed and some briefly halted because of reduced visibility from wildfire smoke from Canada.
Smith to unveil new-look Alberta cabinet Friday after 6 ministers lose seats
Re-elected Premier Danielle Smith will announce her new cabinet and take questions from reporters on Friday, nearly two weeks after winning Alberta's election.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
Hit-and-run leaves pedestrian seriously injured: Edmonton police
A pedestrian was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in northeast Edmonton Tuesday night.
Air quality advisory in effect for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley
An air quality advisory is in effect for parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as wildfire smoke and high temperatures create hazy, potentially hazardous conditions.
Health minister promises expansion of overwhelmed Surrey Memorial Hospital
Surrey Memorial Hospital will be expanded, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday, with more details to come in the next five months.
85-year-old man seriously injured in unprovoked attack, Coquitlam RCMP say
Mounties in Coquitlam are asking for help identifying a suspect in an unprovoked assault that left an 85-year-old man with serious injuries nearly three months ago.
A 'whole list of hazards' are keeping residents near N.S. fire zones under evacuation: officials
It is still not safe for some evacuated residents whose houses were spared from wildfire damage to return home, officials from Halifax Regional Municipality and the District of Shelburne said.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Shelburne volunteer fire chief says wildfire efforts have 'been a fight'
The chief of the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department says the blaze near Barrington Lake, which is now classified as “held,” is unlike anything he’s ever seen.
Extended highway closure expected due to wildfire near Port Alberni
There's no end in sight for the closure of Highway 4 on Vancouver Island – the only highway leading to the communities of Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet – due to a wildfire burning in the area.
NEW | Busload of B.C. students stranded by wildfire spend the night inside Vancouver Island high school
A busload of high school students were finally heading home to Nanaimo on Wednesday after they were stranded by a raging wildfire that forced them to spend the night inside a Port Alberni high school.
Speed and alcohol likely factors in fatal Nanaimo crash
A 33-year-old man from Nanaimo is dead after a single-vehicle crash south of the city Tuesday.
Toronto air quality reaches 'high risk' level due to Ontario, Quebec wildfire smoke
The air quality in Toronto has become so polluted due to forest fires in Quebec and Ontario that strenuous outdoor activities could leave you coughing and with an itchy throat.
Indigo founder Heather Reisman retires, almost half of board steps down
Indigo founder Heather Reisman announced she is retiring as almost half of the book retailer's board of directors steps down.
Deaths of 2 people in apparent fall from residential building deemed murder-suicide: Toronto police
Toronto police say the deaths of two people in North York last month have been deemed a murder-suicide.
Man arrested, facing murder charge in the killing of Claudia Iacono
Police have made an arrest in the killing of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
More evacuations in Quebec as record-breaking fires continue to burn
Quebec's wildfire season is the worst on record, officials said Wednesday as the number of evacuees rose to more than 11,000.
BREAKING | Amber Alert lifted after child found 'safe and sound' in Quebec: police
Quebec provincial police have lifted an Amber Alert for a one-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted earlier Wednesday after reporting the toddler was found 'safe and sound' in the Saint-Hyacinthe area.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" at 8;30 a.m.
Plug-in air purifier blamed for row house fire in Craig Henry area
The Ottawa Fire Service says a plug-in air purifier is to blame for a fire on Craig Henry Drive Tuesday.
Home in the haze: Staying safe while pregnant under a smoky Kingston sky
CTV's Kimberley Johnson, pregnant in her third trimester, shares her experience of staying safe while her home of Kingston, Ont. is blanketed by wildfire smoke.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
High levels of air pollution have developed in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
Plan to build tallest towers in Kitchener sees pushback at neighbourhood meeting
The plan to build what would be the tallest towers in Kitchener came under the scrutiny of those who would be living nearby.
Saskatoon builder looking to flip abandoned homes to first time buyers
A Saskatoon man wants to play matchmaker for the unloved homes in the city.
Saskatoon bakery sees business rise after hiring newcomers from Ukraine
A willingness to hire newcomers to Canada has brought new business to Nestor’s Bakery.
Saskatoon driver crashes into laundromat
There were no injuries reported after a car crashed through the front of a Saskatoon laundromat.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
Spreading wildfires prompt northeastern communities to evacuate
Communities affected by wildfires in the region are evacuating for safety reasons. The province says there is significant danger as several out-of-control wildfires affect air quality and physical safety.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
Crash with stolen vehicle sends two Winnipeg officers to hospital
A section of Main Street is closed on Wednesday morning following a car crash in the area.
These Manitoba communities set new records during the heat wave
The recent heat warnings in Manitoba have resulted in new temperature records being set in several Manitoba communities.
'Armed and dangerous' man wanted in shooting death: RCMP
A warrant has been issued for a 26-year-old man RCMP say is armed and dangerous following a homicide in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation on Tuesday.
Future uncertain for residents of bulldozed Regina homeless camp
The dwellings of around a dozen Regina residents experiencing homelessness were bulldozed after calls from the property owner.
As temperatures soar, Regina parents keep kids home from schools with no air conditioning
With no air conditioning available at their kids' schools, some Regina parents are opting to keep their children home as temperatures rise.
Sask. premier has highest approval rating in Canada, according to poll
At 57 per cent, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has the highest approval rating in Canada, according to a poll from Angus Reid Institute released on Wednesday.