For the Bond family of Godfrey, being involved with the Lake Effects FIRST Robotics team, was kind of like being a hockey family. This winter was filled with after-school working sessions two or three times a week in Kingston, trips to regional competitions across Ontario, and finally to Detroit.
With three of his kids involved (Freja, Torin and Saben), father Damon had little choice but to get involved himself as a mentor/coach/cheerleader.
The grade 9-12 kids on the Lake Effects team were focused on this year’s FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) challenge, which was to build a robot capable of moving and stacking large blocks in order to tip a set of scales in the prescribed direction. Lake Effects worked in partnership with other teams at competitions, and withing the team itself members also brought different skills to the group and took on different tasks.
The whole competition culminated in a final event in Detroit at the Ford Centre in front of 40,000 people. For Lake Effects, it was a historic competition win, and the culmination of a massive effort, lots of and learning and lots of fun. They are world champions.
For Freja Bond, who is in her last year of High School, it was the final chapter in her involvement with FIRST. Her role at the competition was the judge liaison for the team. And it culminated in the above photo when she presented a team had to one of most prominent icons for women in science and technology in Canadian history, former astronaut and current Governor General Julie Payette.