The Local 793-sponsored Garth Webb Secondary School robotic team is on its way to the world championships after completing another successful regional qualifying campaign.

The Chargers booked their spot at the World FIRST Robotics Championship, to be held in Houston, Texas, from April 19-22, after finishing as runners up at the FIRST Ontario Provincial Championship held at the International Centre in Mississauga from April 3-6. They had previously competed in regional qualifiers in North Bay and at McMaster University. Jeff Hewitt, OETIO Director of Training and Apprenticeship and Executive Board member, lent his support during the Provincial Championship.

Although beaten in the final, the Garth Webb robot, named after the Second World War era Canadian warship Stormont, collected enough points to reach their ultimate goal of a chance to compete against the world’s best robotics programs.

Established in 2001, FIRST Robotics inspires young people to be leaders and innovators in science and technology by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills to inspire innovation and foster self-confidence, communication and leadership.

The high costs of competing mean that attracting sponsors is the only way to raise the funds necessary to cover the design and manufacture of the robot and the cost of travelling to events.

Thomas Douglas, Garth Webb’s lead mentor, will now get his team back to work on Stormont after a gruelling few weeks of competition to ensure it is in peak condition once they reach Texas. The Grade 9-12 students will have lots of time to talk tactics beforehand as they will be on the coach for 24 hours for the 2,500 km trip south.

Everyone at Local 793 wishes the Garth Webb team the very best of luck at the world championships!

Robotics team pose with Jeff Hewitt
OETIO Director of Training and Apprenticeship and Executive Board member, Jeff Hewitt (centre), lends his support to the Garth Webb Chargers during the Provincial Championship in Mississauga.
Garth Webb robot Stormont.
The Garth Webb robot was named after the Canadian warship Stormont, which took part in the D-Day landings in 1944.
Pit crew works on robot.
The Garth Webb pit crew spring into action during a break in competition at the International Centre.
Stormont’s operators (centre right) manoeuvre the robot (5409) into a scoring position at the provincial championship.