We as FIRST Robotics Canada, acknowledge the Elders and Youth, past, present and emerging, of all the land on which we work and live. We honour the Ancestral Spirits with gratitude and respect. We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America. The Indigenous people have been gifted the role of caretakers of this land before the arrival of settler peoples until today. But, most importantly, we remember the history of these lands and people that have been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who called Canada home before it was given this name.
This history is something that affects everyone. We are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and are affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, it does not define our future. We move forward in respect, reflection and reconciliation.
Our mission is to inspire young people to pursue further studies and careers in the field of science, technology and engineering. Our vision is of a world which celebrates success in science, technology and engineering and in which young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes. We pursue our mission primarily through running robotics competitions for school-age students at the elementary, junior high school and senior high school level.
We believe that as a society, we face enormous challenges and that to confront these challenges, we will need the full benefit of the energy, talent and dedication of our next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists. We believe that in any community, we encourage what we celebrate. When we celebrate success in sports, we motivate youth to excel in sports. When we celebrate success in entertainment and the arts, we motivate youth to excel as entertainers and artists.We believe it is important to celebrate, at the high school level and earlier, participation in and success in science, technology and engineering in order to inspire young people to pursue further studies and careers in these areas. We believe that our prosperity as a society is driven by our productivity. For our society to be as productive as it can be, it must be as innovative as it can be. Investing in programs that encourage young people to develop related skills is one of the most important investments our society can make.
- Gracious Professionalism™: We instill this value at every opportunity. We expect, require and reward on-field and off-field conduct that models the best values of professional respect and courtesy.
- Coopertition®: Our programs are designed so that to succeed, teams must be able to cooperate with other teams as well as compete with other teams. This is an important real world skill. The principles of “gracious professionalism™” and coopertition™ work hand in hand.
- judged awards: We make significant efforts to recognize and reward accomplishment, whether or not it is reflected in success on the playing field. We make it clear that our most prestigious awards are our judged awards. We deliberately seek judges of considerable standing and seniority (e.g., in the FRC context, university professors, engineering vice presidents) so that students know, when making presentations to such judges or when receiving an award from them, that the award is truly a meaningful one.
- Indirect learning: Our mission is to inspire, not to formally educate, but participation in one of our events involves the application of a remarkable range of creative and analytical skills, as well as the development of valuable social intelligence skills. Students must learn to problem-solve collectively, as members of a team, while under constraints of time, cost, weight, size, game rules and regulations and other restrictions.
- Learning from mentors: We believe that much valuable learning takes place when students work side to side with adult mentors who are taking time from their professional careers to share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for science, technology and engineering with students. We work hard to put strong mentoring relationships in place. We value mentors as teachers and as role models.
- Respect for diversity, inclusion and volunteerism: Participating students fully reflect the diversity of contemporary Ontario society. Our program is volunteer-led and volunteer-delivered. Part of our mandate is to encourage more young women to consider careers in science, technology and engineering and we appear to be having some success in this regard.
We are a registered charity, and we are a volunteer-led and volunteer-run organization with a solid track record of success.