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Acadia Robotics - Inspiring innovation in Nova Scotia, Canada

Inspiring Innovation: Acadia Robotics Program

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Through the Acadia Robotics Program, we can help shape the workforce of the future by providing opportunities for tomorrow,” - Laurel Broten, president and CEO, NSBI.

“Our competitions were created to get Nova Scotia kids interested in science in a fun and exciting way,” says Gary Walsh, Director, Robot Programming Competitions. “They learn that science doesn’t just happen in a lab, it’s all around us. When these kids learn to design and program a robot, they develop teamwork, creativity, and entrepreneurial skills that make them the builders of tomorrow’s technology.” - Gary Walsh 

Why Nova Scotia?
The program began in 2005 when Acadia professor Dr. Danny Silver ran a one-day robot competition for eight high school teams. The competition was a success and soon grew into a province-wide competition. In 2017, 279 boys and 126 girls in 86 teams from across Nova Scotia entered the competition.

What challenges have you faced and overcome?
Top teams have gone on to win national and international events. Advances in robot technology mean that the program needs to upgrade its robots to the new international standard, the LEGO EV-3. The program relies on support from the community for facilities and robots so they can continue to expand the program and reach more kids.

Where NSBI comes in.
“The ICT and tech sector in Nova Scotia are key areas of focus for NSBI. Through the Acadia Robotics Program, we can help shape the workforce of the future by providing opportunities for tomorrow,” says Laurel Broten, president and CEO, NSBI.

NSBI began supporting the Acadia Robotics Program in 2006, and has provided financial support every year since then. When the program began the transition to the EV-3 robot, NSBI purchased five robot kits to be distributed to schools.

NSBI is supporting education for the future workforce. With the highest number of universities per capita, Nova Scotia is Canada’s university capital. You’ll find the talent you need in Nova Scotia.

A future in Nova Scotia.
An investment in science education for kids is an investment in Nova Scotia’s future. Since the inception of the Acadia Robotics Program, many competitors have gone on to study technology-related programs at university and college. The program is also expanding beyond schools, “Any team of kids can compete,” says Walsh. “They can work in a garage, a basement, anywhere. We just provide the robot and the kids jump right in and start creating. It’s incredible what they can do.”

Nova Scotia initiatives like the Acadia Robotics Program are focused on building a strong and thriving community for today and for generations to come. We’re proud to be able to support them. Our 2016 - 2017 Annual Report tells their stories. View the full report.