FIRST Robotics Canada, supported by various FIRST Robotics Teams, Alumni, and Volunteers, has been instrumental in creating and running engaging hospital programs since 2018. These initiatives have been designed to introduce children to the exciting world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through hands-on activities and educational kits. The collaboration between FIRST Robotics Canada and hospitals has provided children with disabilities a unique opportunity to learn about STEM in a fun and engaging way, positively impacting their lives.

Hospital: One Kids Place – North Bay

One Kids Place – North Bay has been an invaluable partner in the hospital programs conducted by FIRST Robotics Canada. Through the initiatives led by FIRST Team 1305, young minds have been introduced to the wonders of STEM using LEGO Education STEAM park and Discover sets. The hospital’s commitment to empowering its clients through the magic of STEM education has been evident in the success and continuation of the programs. The virtual nature of the programs initially allowed children from remote communities to participate safely, connecting socially with peers and exploring their interests in STEM. Thanks to the support of FIRST Robotics Canada and its dedicated volunteers, we can now offer these camps in person.

Image of six people on a virtual zoom call.

Hospital: Strides Toronto

Strides Toronto’s dedication to providing evidence-based interventions for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been complemented by the adapted FIRST LEGO League Challenge program initiated by FIRST Robotics Canada. The program has utilized Spike Prime Kits to teach essential teamwork skills and has been led by experienced FIRST Canada Alumni. The hospital’s collaboration with FIRST Robotics Canada has expanded this successful initiative to two in-person locations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where young participants have benefited from improved negotiation skills and enriched STEM experiences.

Hospital: Ron Joyce Children’s Hospital

Ron Joyce Children’s Hospital, renowned for its exceptional pediatric care and commitment to innovation, has partnered with FIRST Robotics Canada to present the STEM Program. The program, designed to cultivate children’s STEM skills initially through interactive LEGO building activities and then through the curriculum using Spike Prime kits, has fostered a passion for science and technology among young learners. Guided by students from FIRST Robotics Competition teams, participants have engaged in real-world problem-solving, building a strong STEM foundation. The collaborative efforts of Ron Joyce Children’s Hospital and FIRST Robotics Canada have empowered children to explore their potential and prepare for a brighter future in STEM fields.

Image of 15 people on a virtual zoom call.

Hospital: ErinOakKids

The partnership between ErinOakKids and FIRST Robotics Canada has been pivotal in promoting STEM education and hands-on learning experiences. Through the dedication of FIRST Robotics Teams, Alumni, and Volunteers, the program has expanded to include WeDo robots, LEGO Steam Park Kits, and Spike Prime kits, creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment for children. The establishment of ErinOaks’ very own FLL Explore team in 2023 showcases the program’s success in fostering a passion for STEM among young minds. With plans to establish another FLL Explore team at a new location, FIRST Robotics Canada’s unwavering support ensures that more children will benefit from these enriching experiences.

program participants in wheelchair getting congratulated in a high five line of other students

Next Steps

With the unwavering support of FIRST Robotics Teams, Alumni, and Volunteers, the hospital programs created and conducted by FIRST Robotics Canada have profoundly impacted the participating hospitals and the lives of the children involved. These initiatives have opened doors to a brighter future for young learners by nurturing a love for STEM and providing hands-on learning opportunities. The success and continuation of the programs are a testament to the dedication of all stakeholders, working together to shape the next generation of innovators and problem solvers and driving the progress of science and technology in our society.

Total recorded program reach = 348 Students 

Other outreach programs run by FIRST Robotics Canada:

  • Kidsability
  • Child Life Hamilton
  • Camp Ouch
  • 7th Inning
  • Grow