SHAD Reception At Parliament

On June 6th, our robotics team was invited by SHAD to attend a reception they were hosting on parliament hill. It was an event to spread awareness of what the SHAD program is and many ministers and former SHADs (SHAD alumni) attended. Our role was to spread interest in STEAM education, as it was a drop in reception, through putting our robots up for show and speaking to people who approached us about what we do.

SHAD is a competitive entry summer program. Their goal is to bring together the best and brightest youth of Canada to help guide them in STEM fields, and to have them meet and form professional networks from a young age to secure a better and brighter future. This year, three of our robotics team member were accepted into this prestigious program, and they were contacted by SHAD and asked to attend the event with their team.

It was decided that the leads would attend alongside the new future SHADs to help run the “booth”, and it turned out to be absolutely necessary: over 100 people had pre-reserved for the event, and even more dropped by. This includes SHAD alumni, government ministers and officers, and people simply interested in SHAD.

Many different people, including the SHAD officers and the CEO himself, approached us to ask us about the FIRST program. For the first hour of the event, it was our job to attract attention as we explained to everyone what FIRST is, how it works, who is involved. After this, once enough people gathered, at around 6:00, a bunch of speeches were given, and the floor returned to us.

In the end, there was a lot of exposure for both sides. We got to speak to government officers who were genuinely interested in what we were doing, SHAD people who had experienced FIRST, and people who had no idea what either of the programs were and simply wanted to learn. It was merging together two different worlds with a common goal.

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