March 5th 2023 will go down as a historic day for HNMCS. It was the day that the HNMCS Robotics team, Team 7659, stepped into the spotlight at the FIRST Robotics Ontario District Georgian Event and walked away as the District Event winners and a two-time recipient of the Engineering Inspiration Award. As one of only three FIRST all-girls teams in Canada, this was a huge win for HNMCS Robotics who competed against 30 other teams during this 3-day competition.
Leading up to the event, both mentors and students dedicated countless hours, over an 8-week period, on the design and build of their robot and field elements. By integrating robotics into the computer science and physics curricula, students actively worked on programming the autonomous period and the pneumatic system. Thanks to their sponsors, K-Tool, Pratt & Whitney, SOLIDWORKS, Hatch, and FIRST Canada, the build season was an immense success, and they were proud to present their robot this season: Lightning Queen.
HNMCS Robotics persevered during the challenging qualification matches against 28 other robots. Lightning Queen remained consistent throughout and successfully completed the autonomous period, scored cubes, and engaged with the charge station every match. The consistency, strength, and stability of the robot was recognized by the highest ranked team, MakeShift Robotics FRC4039 (St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, Hamilton), and the third-highest ranked team, Simbotics FRC 1114 (Governor Simcoe Secondary School, St. Catherines). The trio formed a powerful alliance, leveraging their unique strengths and working in seamless coordination to outmaneuver and outscore their opponents, ultimately defeating all seven opposing alliances in a thrilling display of innovation and teamwork. The team driver, operator, technician and human players competed fiercely against opponent alliances, leading Lightning Queen to successfully defend against opponent robots. In the finals, HNMCS Robotics brought pride to our school as winners of the competition.
The team leads, Sabrina '23, Sally '23, and Brigitte '23, worked tirelessly in the lead up to the event, to perfect their essay and presentation for the competition. Countless hours were devoted to writing and rewriting their essay, as well as scripting & rehearsing their presentation, to clearly and effectively convey the team’s theme and message. Highlights of the message included the events that the team hosts throughout the year, including Engineering Career Night, Business Brunch, STEM Day, Alumnae Chats, and DropIN Coding, as well as the Mississauga FLL Qualifying Tournament that the team hosted last December. They also touched upon their global outreach, hosting virtual coding workshops for all-girls schools in Trinidad and Tobago.
Their hard work and dedication paid off when they delivered a stunning essay and presentation that captivated the judges and earned the team the coveted 'Engineering Inspiration Award'. This award recognizes the team’s initiatives and efforts to respect, appreciate, and promote engineering and technology within and outside their community.
New, yet deeply-rooted; unconventional and innovative—HNMCS Robotics makes the most of every opportunity to amplify their impact and strength. This is only the beginning for 7659. The team's motto of the three C’s—Connect, Create, Change—will continue to shape their positive impact on HNMCS, the local community, and the world. We cannot wait to see their performance at the McMaster District Event later this month, and the Provincial Championships in April.
- Dr. Karen Kozma, Senior School Instructional Lead & Team Lead Mentor