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The founding and establishment of our team began when two girls in 2000, at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School approached Mrs. D. Byers to propose the starting of a FIRST Robotics team.
Our school supported their goal and we became the first all-female team in Canada in 2002, SWAT 771. We had a team of 18 students and four mentors. We successfully built the robot, Mildread. Affectionately known as the “box that rocks”. We competed at the Canadian
Regional; and though we were a small team, we had loud voices and lots of spirit and we were recognized with the Daimler Chrysler Team Spirit Award. That year we came in 19th out of 44 teams.
By the next year, we were showing off our potential not only at home at the Canadian Regional where we were picked for the qualification rounds but also at the Championship hosted in Houston, Texas.
Since then, we have won many awards including Regional Chairman’s and Judge’s Awards.
One significant year was in 2007. We came home with the gold medal from the Waterloo Regional and a week later became the first female team in the history of FIRST to win the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award. Our team went on to attend the FIRST international Championship Event in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2011, SWAT 771 had another very successful year. We were awarded the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Pittsburgh Regional. A couple of weeks later at the Greater Toronto West Regional, SWAT not only won the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award and went on to compete in the semi-finals, but also walked away with the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award.
A particularly valued award we have been chosen for was in 2015. Out of 150 teams in our division, we were awarded the Engineering Inspiration award in Carver Division at the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Additionally, we were Dean’s List finalists and won the Regionals Chairman’s award in both the Greater Toronto Central Regional and the Windsor-Essex Great Lakes Regional.