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Event Goal

To provide an engaging, interactive, on-line opportunity for young women in STEM and their allies to problem-solve, collaborate with mentors and industry professionals, develop skills and open minds to new opportunities.

Check out our 2021 STEMathon

About the FIRST Robotics Canada Girls and Allies STEMathon

For students 13 and over in grades 8 to 12

Join us ONLINE on May 25th and 26th for the FIRST Robotics Canada Girls and Allies STEMathon – 2024! Teams of four to five students will work together to solve a real-world problem (We will announce the THEME on the day of the event). Enjoy 24 hours of showcasing your STEM skills and teamwork with the FIRST Canada community! Launching at noon on Saturday, May 25th and wrapping up after noon on Sunday, May 26th, the event features a weekend of problem-solving, informative and engaging workshops and a lot of fun for everyone!

Karthik Kanagasabapathy will host the event, and the FIRST Canada Youth Council will facilitate a weekend full of inspiration, project presentations, scavenger hunts, and much more. FIRST Canada mentors and volunteers will match and guide the teams, providing participants with insight and tips and cheering their team to new heights! Thank you all for your interest in the STEMathon! 

Agenda

Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Time

Event

Location

9:00 am

Participants Check-In

Slack

10:00 am

Opening Ceremonies

twitch.tv/firstcanada

10:15 am

Info on Brainstorming & Design Tips- Lisa Ramraj

twitch.tv/firstcanada

10:45 am

Presentation Tips - How to Give the Perfect Pitch - Celeste Nantel

twitch.tv/firstcanada

11:30 am

STEMathon Theme Launch

twitch.tv/firstcanada

Teams Work on Projects

Slack

Sunday, May 26th, 2024

Time

event

location

7:30 am


Infographics Due

Teams to check in their slack group for details on location

8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Judging Interviews

Zoom

12:00 pm

Scavenger Hunt

Zoom

12::50 pm 

Call Back Interviews Announced

Zoom

1:00 pm

Virtual Escape Room

Zoom

1:00 pm to 1:50 pm

Call Back Interviews

Zoom

3:00 pm

Closing Ceremonies and Awards

Twitch

Meet the Mentors

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Amanda Logiudice

I’m a mechanical engineer and FIRST alum with constant curiosity and a love for STEM! While designing physical products is fun, I found my true calling in manufacturing engineering while in school. I have worked in many manufacturing industries from consumer electronics and hardware, automotive, industrial baking, and finally my current full time job overseeing production and designing processes for assembling submersible robots and remotely operated vehicles (so… FRC water game 2025 anyone?) On my spare time I paint and am an active FIRST mentor.

Angela Tollis

Hey there, I’m Angela! I am a FIRST alumna/mentor of FRC team 4039, FTC team 18433, a member of the STEMathon Planning Committee, and a past winner of the FIRST Canadian Women in STEM Scholarship. I’ve been involved within FIRST for almost 10 years now and am in my last year of my Mechanical Engineering and Sustainability degree at McMaster University. It was through my time in FIRST where I found my passion for all things revolving around mechanical design, fabrication, doing outreach within the community, and of course, sharing the story of my own team and FIRST as a whole to others. In addition to these, I also made it a priority to advocate for EDI within my team and community, especially when it comes to encouraging girls to pursue STEM. At school, you’ll find me working on the satellite team as team lead within the mechanical sub-team, mentoring first-year female-identifying engineering students within our Women in Engineering Society, working within the Engineering Welcome Week Committee, and running events through my role as President of the Engineering & Society Student Association. I’ve also completed four co-op terms and am currently on my fifth at MDA for 16 months where I am currently assigned to do mechanical design and testing for Canadarm3. Need some help or advice while working on your projects during this event? Message me for help anytime especially when you’re looking for advice on sustainability, mechanical/computer-aided design, data analysis, speaking/presenting, manufacturing, video editing, or how to organize your solution process throughout the weekend. Looking forward to working with you!

Anupriya Dubey

Hi! I’m Anupriya, I’m a 4th year undergrad student at Ontario Tech University majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Math. I’m also currently a mentor for FRC Team 188 Blizzard! A fun fact about me is that my favourite type of chocolate is dark chocolate.

Emily Forster

Hey everyone! My name is Emily. I am a FIRST Alumni from FRC Team 2056, a FIRST Canada Youth Council Alumni, a member of the Girls and Allies STEMathon Planning Committee, and a FIRST Robotics Competition Game Announcer/Emcee. I am also a student at McMaster University, studying Mechanical Engineering and Society with plans to pursue a minor in sustainability. Currently, I am doing a co-op at CPC Pumps International where I am working in the Mechanical Design team and learning how more about the manufacturing process of pumps and CAD Design. Throughout my years at FIRST, I have had the opportunity to do many fun things. On Team 2056, I served as a Technical Lead and Pit Chief, as well as playing a key role in assisting with designing, manufacturing, and assembling the robot. Additionally, I received the Rookie of the Year award in my first year on the team, along with MVP award for my second and third years. In 2019, I started FIRST Tech Challenge Team 16423, at a nearby high school. In 2019 I also joined FIRST Canada Youth Council, where I participated in several exciting initiatives, including Project Green. Project Green was an initiative I helped to start, focusing on finding greener ways to live every day. This involved posting weekly tips, organizing clean-up days, and distributing eco-friendly stickers at competitions. If you need any help during the event, I am more than happy to answer any questions and provide assistance. I have skills in computer-aided design, public speaking/presenting, technical writing, and sustainability, among many others.

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Erica Rossi

Hi everyone, I’m Erica! I recently graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Windsor and am now completing a master’s degree in mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo with a focus on lower limb prostheses. I’m a proud FIRST Alum having participated in both FLL and FRC programs and was a part of the inaugural FIRST Canada Girls in STEM Student Advisory Council (now the Youth Council!). Student leadership is something I am very passionate about and most recently completed my term as President of the Engineering Student Societies’ Council of Ontario which is a provincial nonprofit that provides services and advocates for Ontario Undergraduate Engineering students. On the technical side I have experience in automotive testing facilities and product design groups. I look forward to working with current and future student leaders at this event every year so feel free to reach out during the event if you have any questions about product development, testing, public speaking, or if you want to just bounce ideas around!

Gabby Genereux

Hey everyone! I’m currently a software developer for CNN, doing application development for smart TVs and connected TV devices. I studied Software Engineering at Carleton University, and over the years I’ve done software development in a bunch of different areas, such as security, military, and live TV broadcasting. When I’m not working, or mentoring my FRC team, or volunteering, I enjoy playing video games and reading. I’m also a big politics nerd

Hridi Paul

Hello! I am Hridi Paul, a dedicated student at McMaster University pursuing a double major in Economics and Computer Science. I actively contribute to the university’s academic and extracurricular landscape, notably as a member of the competitive Mac Changers team. In this role, I led a project focused on developing an app to mitigate caregiver burnout within the dementia-affected community, demonstrating my commitment to leveraging technology for social good. Complementing my academic pursuits, I volunteer my time as a mentor for the robotics team Critical Circuits Team 9062, showcasing my leadership and teamwork skills. I possess a strong belief in the integration of social sciences and STEM disciplines, recognizing their interdependence and synergistic potential. With a profound interest in healthcare, I have engaged in projects aimed at raising awareness of women’s healthcare issues and advocating for solutions to alleviate healthcare shortages in Canada through research papers and essay competitions. Beyond my academic and professional endeavors, I maintain an active lifestyle, participating in activities such as long-distance running and rock climbing. Currently, I am training for my marathon in September and I hope to start competing with McMasters’ Climbing team at competitions this year! Additionally, I am a professional Connect 4 player, holding an undefeated title for the past three years. Having been a competitor at the FIRST Canada Stemathon in the past, I am absolutely thrilled to be back as a mentor! I can’t wait to see the incredible ideas that the teams will come up with. It’s going to be an amazing experience, and I’m so excited to be a part of it!

Jamie Wareham

Hi! My name is Jamie Wareham. I use he/they pronouns currently and identify as bigender (transmasculine and butch)! I’m graduate of the Human Services Foundations program at Fanshawe college, and I have a huge passion for community care and mutual aid. I am deeply invested in anti-oppressive and liberation work in the community and I try to carry that work with me when I participate in robotics, and try to serve as a safe mentor for marginalized students. My specialty in robotics has always been the non-technical aspects, and in my time as a student in FIRST with FRC 3739, I focused on awards, media, and operations. My main focus as a mentor and a volunteer is equity and making room for multi-marginalized folks within our league. I’m currently on a break from formal paid work because of my complex disabilities (ask me about genetics and medical stuff, I have a TON of knowledge and lived experience). In the meantime my focuses have been my art business and my health, nurturing my community, and supporting active decolonial efforts. In my free time I like to occasionally go to concerts and community events, I make a ton of art, do research on tornadoes to eventually develop educational resources about them, archive, make zines, and write music. I have a wide variety of knowledge on different topics due to my special interests from autism (such as community organizing, accessibility, urban planning and inequity, art and protest history, disaster preparation, and space exploration). A fun fact about me is that I have archived for My Chemical Romance!

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Jaskeen Sagotra

Hello! I am Jaskeen Sagotra. I am a Policy analyst in “On-road decarbonization and electrification” team at Transport Canada. I graduated from Carleton University with a bachelor’s of Arts, Honours, in law with a concentration in business law and a minor is neuroscience. I have many interests as I believe we never stop learning and there is nothing we can’t learn.

Jenna Kay Foertsch

Jenna Kay Foertsch currently works in the Office of Planning, Integration, and Environmental at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She also recently completed a rotation within the NASA Robotics Directorate. Originally from Minnesota, Jenna Kay graduated from the University of Minnesota with a special focus on the integration of STEM and business concepts. A recipient of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, Jenna Kay has an extensive background in freelance consulting, high powered rocketry, mentoring, robotics, and asking the hard questions. She is the founder and director of Hot Nozzle Society, an organization created to foster and sustain a more vibrant and diverse rocketry and aerospace scene. Jenna Kay is an alumni of FIRST FRC team 3184 and a current mentor for FRC team 118, the Robonauts based out of Johnson Space Center. Fun Fact – I help run the Everybot Initiative and I have a cat named Lathe

Julia MacFarlane

Hello! I’m Julia, an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. My journey with FIRST Canada began over nine years ago, starting in elementary school on a FIRST Lego League team and eventually leading my high school’s FIRST Robotics Team as captain. Now for the second year in a row, I’m thrilled to be back with FIRST Canada as an intern! A fun fact about me is I am a huge animal person. When I’m not working with robots, you’ll find me outdoors going on hikes or at a barn spending time with horses.

Karthik Kanagasabapathy

Karthik Kangasabapathy has always had a passion for education. While mentoring students in robotics, he began to realize that many of the education and career decisions being made by young people were often shaped by external factors as opposed to their own passions, causing them to take paths that led them to unintended destinations. Throughout his career, he has worked to help students discover what they are truly passionate about. A mathematician by trade, he has designed competition robotics games that have been played by over 75,000 teams of students across the globe. He has won numerous awards for his dedication to furthering robotics education, including the prestigious Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for exemplary mentoring and being a positive role model for high school students through the FIRST Robotics Competition. He served as the lead mentor for FRC Team 1114 from 2004-2016 and now acts as a team advisor. During his tenure with the team they won the FIRST World Championship and were inducted into the FIRST Hall of Fame for winning the Championship Chairman’s Award. Karthik now works for FIRST Canada as the Director of Programs & Strategy. While his background is in Mathematics, his own passions include mental health awareness, empowering underrepresented groups in STEAM, and a love of sports at all levels. He also hosts various global robotics events, having worked with media personalities such Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, gave an international recognized TEDx talk, has hosted televised robotics specials on ESPN and CBS, and consulted with the writing and production roomsfor episodes of Degrassi featuring Drake. His areas of expertise include strategic planning and design, data analysis, creative problem solving, and taking products to market.

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Lisa Ramraj

I joined FIRST in 2009 as a student on FRC Team 1310 – Runnymede Robotics mentored from 2013 – 2021. Throughout my 13 years in FRC, I have been involved in every aspect of the team from construction, electrical, strategy, scouting, promotions and team management. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and graduated in 2018. After university, I worked as a Sales & Product Engineer at Clear Blue Technologies, where we made smart off-gird technology that is used to power lighting and telecommunications solutions around the world. When designing solutions, I like to take inspiration from what already exists and focus on asking the right people, the right questions. I currently have the pleasure of being the FIRST Tech Challenge Program Manager at FIRST Robotics Canada where I get to facilitate robotics experiences for students across the province. My areas of expertise are organization, strategic design, breaking down problems, prototyping and making things look pretty. I also love bears of the polar variety, and will always be #teamred.

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Logan Webb

Hi there! My name is Logan Webb and I am currently pursuing a degree in Kinesiology at Ontario Tech, I balance my academic pursuits with serving as a Student Athletic Trainer for the varsity women’s hockey team. As a varsity rower myself, I proudly represent Ontario tech at OUA championships during the school year and Durham Region at national competitions during the summer months. My academic background and athletic endeavors converge in my aspiration to pursue a career in prosthetics, a field where innovation and compassion intersect. I am FIRST Alum of Runnymede Robotics Team 1310, I’m thrilled to return to the FIRST community, this time as a mentor. During my time on Team 1310, I held the position of Head of Communications while also contributing to strategy and build aspects. My journey was marked by creating and managing various events, coordinating sponsorships, and serving as an award presenter. I actively participated in events like the Girls in FIRST Weekend in 2019 and the FIRST STEMathon in 2020 and 2021, fostering my passion for promoting STEM education and inclusivity and am thrilled to be returning as a mentor now! My skill set encompasses creative problem-solving, entrepreneurship, public speaking, and healthcare expertise. I approach mentorship with an open mind eager to see the fantastic ideas you all produce! As I enter the final year of my degree, I look forward to leveraging my experiences to empower the next generation of robotics enthusiasts, guiding them towards their full potential both on and off the competition field.

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Maria Muiruri

Maria Muiruri is a first year Honors student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying International Relations and Data Science. Passionate about community, mentorship and inclusion, she plans to pursue a career in law. She is the former Captain of FRC Team 7712, Umoja Robotics and now serves as a mentor, providing guidance on applications for college and summer experiential opportunities. At Carolina, she is a member of the Community Service Committee in the Black Pre Law Students Organization and member of the Disability Advocates Community. In her free time, she is an avid frisbee player, reader and lover of international travel. Fun fact: I took a gap year and loved it! If you’re even considering one, feel free to shoot me an email with any questions 🙂

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Megan McEwen

Megan McEwen is a hardware developer and community STEM advocate. She first developed a passion for robotics and engineering through the FIRST Robotics program in high school as part of FRC Team 4595. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering from Carleton University and currently works at Ross Video as a Hardware Developer focusing on Ross’s robotic camera motion systems portfolio. Megan is passionate about youth leadership and STEM advocacy, and besides FIRST volunteers with Mindtrust Leadership as a mentor, as an Engineer-in-Residence with Engineers of Tomorrow, and with other community groups focused on youth development. In her spare time she loves playing hockey and long distance hiking!

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Mehak Dhaliwal

Coming Soon

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Michelle Pitre

Michelle is a FIRST alum, mentor of team 9277, and regular event volunteer living in Calgary, Alberta! She started in FRC in Kingston, Ont in 2014 and now is a member of FIRST Alberta as their alumni coordinator. As a student, Michelle was a strategist, acting as drive coach in 2018 for 2708 and becoming part of the winning alliance for Detroit Champs. In 2019, they moved out to Calgary to acquire their Mechanical Engineering Technology Diploma at SAIT. Currently, she works as a wheelchair technician, getting to build, fix, and adapt mobility aides for clients as needed. She hopes to continue in this field, eventually working to design mobility aides. Michelle is also a Lieutenant working with an Air Cadet squadron, has an adorable 16 year old cat named Nala and too many plants. She adores teaching what she knows and is always willing to learn!

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Namirah Quadir

A Canadian non-profit leader since the age of 14, Namirah Quadir is pursuing a career at the intersection of medical innovation and entrepreneurship with the aim of championing global access to healthcare. She is currently in her third year of studying neuroscience at Harvard. When she isn’t in lab, class, or working on her startup, you can find Namirah reading in a cozy Boston cafe or learning her next language (she’s currently on German!).

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Nikhita Jotsinghani

Hi! I’m Nikhita. I am a FIRST alum of Team 4252 and the Lead Scouting & Strategy mentor on Team DAVE, 3683. I oversee scouting, and run picklists & match strategy, with an emphasis on data-driven decision-making. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BMath in Math and Business Administration, with a computing minor, and I currently work as a Data Engineer at Manulife! I specialize in statistics, data analysis, data processing, and data visualization, including Excel, Tableau, Python, and SQL. I also am well versed in marketing, business presentations, essay & pitch writing, photo & video editing & design, and social media. I’m great at management, organization, conflict resolution, and facilitating conversations in teams. I also love cats, especially my orange son, Jack, and accept cat (or other pet) photos always.

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Rajosree Paul

My name is Raj and I’m a biology student at the University of Waterloo and a FIRST alum! I love all things STEM but have a soft spot for combining biology and technology to blend concepts I’ve learned in the classroom with things I’ve learned through robotics. This summer, I start working in the Multisensory Brain and Cognition Lab at Waterloo where I’ll be investigating how our minds process virtual and augmented reality stimulus and how we can use VR technology for therapeutic applications. Outside of the lab and school, you’ll usually find me crocheting, running, or reading a good book 🙂

Rameesha Qazi

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rameesha is a community organizer, published author, and gender equality expert who is passionate about protecting women and girls from all forms of violence. Leveraging field and HQ-based experiences in gender equality analysis, gender-based violence (GBV) and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) integration, and policy rollout and implementation. For six+ years Rameesha has provided value addition to international development, humanitarian, rights-based, and youth and women’s empowerment programming throughout the project cycle for programs funded by diverse donors, including the Department for International Development (DFID), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She has worked as a Gender Equality advisor (with portfolios exceeding CAD 150 million) in the Middle East, East and West Africa, and Central and South Asia, developing education programs, resources, and policies, crafting gender strategies, implementing gender-based violence prevention programs, and implementing advocacy campaigns to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). She is currently the Co-Chair of the advisory committee at DIGNA, where she brings her lived experience as a survivor, and is a key part of several projects including the development of a Survivor Support resources databases for all countries that receive GAC aid. She is the lead author and architect of a gender equality organizational policy for an organization with a CAD 100 million annual budget and over 3000 employees. Above all, she believes in empowering survivors to access resources and make decisions they feel will best support their health and well-being. Rameesha has worked extensively in Jordan, the Gambia, and Tanzania and has travelled to Pakistan, Syria, and other Middle East, North Africa, and Central/South Asia countries for her assignments. She is an avid Potter-head, reader, TV and movie watcher, and podcast connoisseur. She worked as a journalist in her youth and is a robotics world championship winner. She loves dogs and travelling – and met her goal of traveling to 30 countries by the time she turned 30 in February of 2024!
 
 
 
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Rameesha is a community organizer, published author, and gender equality expert who is passionate about protecting women and girls from all forms of violence. Leveraging field and HQ-based experiences in gender equality analysis, gender-based violence (GBV) and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) integration, and policy rollout and implementation. For six+ years Rameesha has provided value addition to international development, humanitarian, rights-based, and youth and women’s empowerment programming throughout the project cycle for programs funded by diverse donors, including the Department for International Development (DFID), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She has worked as a Gender Equality advisor (with portfolios exceeding CAD 150 million) in the Middle East, East and West Africa, and Central and South Asia, developing education programs, resources, and policies, crafting gender strategies, implementing gender-based violence prevention programs, and implementing advocacy campaigns to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). She is currently the Co-Chair of the advisory committee at DIGNA, where she brings her lived experience as a survivor, and is a key part of several projects including the development of a Survivor Support resources databases for all countries that receive GAC aid. She is the lead author and architect of a gender equality organizational policy for an organization with a CAD 100 million annual budget and over 3000 employees. Above all, she believes in empowering survivors to access resources and make decisions they feel will best support their health and well-being. Rameesha has worked extensively in Jordan, the Gambia, and Tanzania and has travelled to Pakistan, Syria, and other Middle East, North Africa, and Central/South Asia countries for her assignments. She is an avid Potter-head, reader, TV and movie watcher, and podcast connoisseur. She worked as a journalist in her youth and is a robotics world championship winner. She loves dogs and travelling – and met her goal of traveling to 30 countries by the time she turned 30 in February of 2024! Cell E33
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Rishi Jotsinghani

Rishi is an alum of FRC Team 4252 and has been a part of FIRST since 2012. Previously a mentor on FRC Teams 1310 and 3683, he is currently mentoring FRC Team 1241: THEORY6. His role is focussed around team communication, strategic design and software, match strategy, drive team coaching and scouting. Rishi is also a Head Referee in both FRC and FTC. He graduated with a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Managerial Analytics from the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. Currently, he is a Senior Manager of Data Analytics at Find Your Fun, a Wizards of the Coast game studio. His areas of expertise include statistics, machine learning, analytical problem solving, technologies surrounding data science and analytics including SQL, Python, Spark, and R, strategic design, and gaming. One fun fact about him is that he can juggle, and is in the process of learning how to juggle four notes from this year’s FRC game.

Sarah Heimlich

Sarah Heimlich is a long-time FIRSTer, having been involved with the program for 20 years. She co-founded FIRST Australia and serves as a mentor, regional planning committee member and judge advisor. Sarah is a Dean’s List Winner, Woodie Flowers Finalist, and member of the FIRST Hall of Fame. Outside of FIRST, Sarah holds a Bachelors of Software Engineering with first class honors and a Masters of Research in Computing from Macquarie University. Sarah has worked as a software engineer and product manager at Google, researching provable privacy for AI applications. Today, she is a product manager at John Deere working on the autonomous tractor. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking with her husband and dog and using her collection of library cards (14 and counting!).

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Shahed Saleh

Shahed Saleh is a product manager with experience in robotics and AI software feature planning. She is an FRC alumni and Mechatonics Engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo. In her free time, Shahed enjoys sketching, hiking, and cooking.

Shubhika Mahakul

My name is Shubhika! I am a FIRST Alum and enjoy helping youth explore topics within STEAM. I am currently pursuing my masters degree in Kinesiology at Western. Prior to this, I completed my undergraduate degree at Western University in Medical Sciences. Over my many years of schooling I have developed a passion for learning about lifestyle modification to prevent illness. I love sharing my knowledge to help others. Besides school I try to spend my time expressing creativity through crocheting, board games and graphic design. To keep myself active through the week I enjoy biking, pickleball and spikeball! Over the past 2 years I have mentored high school aged students in running their own successful business from start to finish and have lots of great information to help guide the teams in the STEAMathon. Some people call this a red flag but, I call it a fun fact: Whenever I start a new show, I always start by watching the first and last episode, I am too impatient to wait to see what happens. Do I do this with books and movies? Yes, but only sometimes!

Victoria Angelini

Hi, I’m Victoria, and I’m in my third year of studying computer engineering at the University of Waterloo. I’m sort of a jack of all trades when it comes to computers — from building web apps to working on the internal circuitry of electric cars, I have experience working with software, firmware, and hardware (but I specialize in firmware). On the side, I enjoy drawing pictures and generally making things look aesthetically pleasing. Fun fact: I was almost the voice of Wanda in the Magic School Bus Netflix reboot.

Meet the Judges

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Adit Patel

Adit is the founder and CEO of Blockscope, a data tooling company that combats financial crime and fraud. Before this, Adit worked at Microsoft as a Software engineer building big data infrastructure. Adit is an FLL and FRC Alumni. Robotics paved his path to engineering at McMaster University, where he got a Software Engineering degree specializing in Embedded Systems design.

Dr. Gilbert Lai

Gilbert is the R&D Manager for the Systems and Industrial group at Quanser. He leads and manages the development efforts and processes on a range of products and customized solutions covering drones, mobile robots, self-driving cars, motion platforms, and robot integrations for haptic controls and teleoperations. Gilbert is also a Sessional Faculty at McMaster University’s W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (SEPT) within the Faculty of Engineering.

Gilbert holds a PhD degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Prior to Quanser, Gilbert had worked with Honeywell as a Systems & Controls Engineer. He had also taken on roles as Software and Applications Engineer with Maplesoft.

Gilbert has been a long-time mentor for FRC team SWAT 771 from St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville, Ontario. In the past, he had volunteered as FIRST Robotics Competition judge in several regional competitions, as well as at the Championship.
He is a member of the Girls in STEM Executive Advisory Council for FIRST Robotics Canada to help promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM education and career.

Lahari Pakalapati

Lahari is a Hackathon Co-lead for Women in AI and an advanced data scientist at RBC. She is passionate about unlocking the power of data and is known for her excellence and proactive approach in the data science community. Her leadership and dedication make her a valuable asset, driving positive change and empowering others, especially women, in technology and data science. She holds a strong background in mathematics and statistics, which she leverages to find hidden patterns and relationships in data, as well as to validate and evaluate her models. Outside of work, she enjoys reading books, participating in hackathons, and continuously seeks opportunities to learn new skills and collaborate with other data professionals to deliver innovative and impactful solutions. A fun fact about her is that she loves leveraging her expertise in her daily life, finding ways to optimize routines and make everyday activities more efficient and enjoyable

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Libby Kamen

Libby Kamen is a marketing & business developement professional focused on the gaming & livestreaming / content creation industries. With a Bachelor’s in Communication & Digital Media (Clarkson University), and a Master’s in Marketing from Technological Innovation (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), she combines a technical background with the creative aspects of marketing and content creation. She is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Radiance Media, an agency that seeks to unite brands and gaming audiences for authentic campaigns, as well as the Broadcast Media Coordinator for the Professional Women’s Hockey League, helping bring women’s sports to over 9 million homes in the US and Canada. Libby is a FIRST alum and serves as lead mentor for Team 1923: The MidKnight Inventors out of West Windsor, NJ, USA.

Parisa Asgharzadeh

I am a dedicated AI leader and machine learning scientist, committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the field of AI. With a Master of Science degree in Machine Learning from the University of British Columbia (UBC), my expertise lies in developing advanced machine learning frameworks tailored for image and time series data analysis. Currently, I am a Senior Deep Learning Scientist at Metaspectral, where my focus is on pioneering novel AI-based techniques on hyperspectral data. My aim is to optimize decision-making processes, streamline workflows, and boost throughput in industrial settings through the power of artificial intelligence. Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working across diverse sectors, honing my skills and broadening my perspective. I’m deeply passionate about empowering women in AI and actively contribute to the community as both an advocate and mentor. As I continue to explore AI’s frontiers, I envision a future where technology profoundly impacts lives for the better. As Vancouver City Lead for Women in AI, I’m committed to pioneering inclusive initiatives and championing equity in the field. Through innovative research and visionary leadership, I strive to shape the AI landscape toward a future that is both equitable and impactful. Fun Fact: I hold a black belt in Karate and was an instructor during my high school and college years.

Thuvishan Rajagulasingam

Thuvishan is a Senior Account Executive at Vivi.io, specializing in interactive learning solutions for K-12 education. He is passionate about helping mission-driven startups expand into new markets and achieve growth. Thuvishan holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Mechatronics Systems from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. A dedicated mentor in the FIRST community, he previously volunteered with teams 1241, 1285, and the Afghan Dreamers Team 7239, earning the Woodie Flowers Regional Award for outstanding mentorship. Active in FIRST since 2005 and volunteering since 2012, Thuvishan also enjoys reading, camping, exercising, and real estate investing.