As the competition begins to heat up, Union Gas continues its support for eight Ontario secondary school teams taking part in FIRST Robotics Canada (FIRST) competitions – STEM inspired events where students, teachers and mentors work together to build robots in high-intensity 'robo-sports' competitions, courtesy of a $50,000 sponsorship. This will be Union Gas' sixth consecutive year of support for the competitions and student teams as a Gold-Level Sponsor.
"Projections for STEM-related jobs are ever-increasing and organizations like FIRST Robotics Canada are helping students realize their potential in this discipline," said Paul Rietdyk, vice president, engineering, construction, and storage and transmission operations, Union Gas. "Beyond STEM, FIRST exemplifies strong values such as safety, teamwork and collaboration; but the most referenced phrase of all is "graciously professionalism", a term that promotes win/win relationships in a way that demonstrates integrity, respect and valuing others. The values of FIRST are strongly aligned with those of Union Gas and Enbridge."
FIRST Robotic Competition (FRC) is an annual competition where high school student teams raise funds, design a brand, and build and program robots to perform specific tasks, known as 'robo-sports', with the help of volunteer professional mentors. After an intense six weeks build, teams compete in regional events held in several Canadian provinces, then progress to district events and on to the World Championship.
"Union Gas has done an incredible job of engaging its employees in FIRST Robotics Canada initiatives," says Mark Breadner, president, FIRST Robotics Canada. "Union Gas supports FIRST on so many levels including judging, volunteering, and financial support for teams. We're also extremely grateful to have Paul Rietdyk from Union Gas as an integral member of the FIRST Canada Executive Advisory Board."