Microsoft Team of the Week – Team 7013

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Thank you to Microsoft for supporting FIRST Robotics Competition! Throughout the FRC season, we will get to know Microsoft-sponsored teams. This week FIRST team 7013 ACCN TECHTRONIX reported on their experience.

ACCN TECHTRONIX is the first Black robotics team in Canada to enter a FIRST Robotics Competition. ACCN TECHTRONIX is made up of 25 males and females from various Toronto neighbourhoods.

Ryerson University Technical Officer Joseph Amankrah and a group of engineering and design students are training and mentoring the team in robot-building. ACCN TECHTRONIX was created to nurture Black youth in pursuit of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers; and to demonstrate to them that they have what it takes to be at the STEM table. Diversity drives innovation, so the more young people who are encouraged to take an interest in STEM, the better off our whole society will be. It’s a joy to see these young minds open up to learning new things.

Most of the students do not have access to robotics at their schools, and this community team gives them this option. When asked, most of the students expressed that they never thought that could be part of a robotics team. ACCN TECHTRONIX made this reality possible. Many students came into the program because they had an interest in a STEM career. The experience they gained from being in the team has solidified their inclination. Those who had other career interests have shifted and have articulated and appreciate the importance of STEM in wealth-building careers.

Apart from competition day, the team is truly excited about the life changing experiences. Some members had some coding experience, others none. Learning the Solid Works program was new to all. They have embraced the new learnings which will only serve to enrich their lives. While the team meets 3 times per week, some students opted to come with more frequency. The hands-on work was just amazing with assembly, wiring, machining, branding exercises, and making new friends─everything.
The team enjoys the collaboration in arriving at the best strategies for game day. They are learning valuable soft skills which they will take with them as they approach new life situations.

As a community team, one of the biggest challenges is travelling midweek to Ryerson University─the build area, when the students live in areas such as Durham, Peel and Richmond Hill.

We are so grateful for the grant from Microsoft, without which we would not have been able to pay our registration fee. Thank you Microsoft. We will make you proud.

Thanks, Team 7013! We wish you the best of luck on your season and we look forward to seeing you at competitions!

Check out other Microsoft initiatives that are helping kids and youth obtain the necessary skills to participate in a world being transformed by technology.