Innovation was in the air. Six high school teams from across Alberta, seven judges, and too many mentors and teachers to count, gathered at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy on May 25th to participate in a Mindfuel “geekStarter” Jamboree.

From Lethbridge’s rapid detection system for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, to Calgary’s robot that picks up litter, from Canmore’s sustainable autonomous machine that can identify and sort different kinds of plastic, to Lacombe’s remote controlled robot dog surveillance system, from Fort McMurray’s robot bear that trains dogs how to respond to a bluff charge, to Edmonton’s rehabilitation exoskeleton, each of the teams of young scientists that gathered for the Jamboree brought a good attitude, a healthy competitive spirit and a well thought out solution to a problem that impacted their community.

These students are bright! Bright like the sun; full of energy and illuminating the future of entrepreneurial thinking. These students have been mentored and supported by MindFuel’s program “geekStarter”, which coordinates and hosts prestigious competitions that give students the chance to share their real-world projects with leaders in Alberta.

Innovate Canmore had the pleasure of representing two spots on the judging panel for this year’s event and got to experience first-hand, just how excited the new generation is about STEM fields such as robotics, synthetic biology, communication and nanotechnology.

The Canmore OLS team took home the 2019 Top Performance Award, and all the groups have now returned to their home towns. The lessons they learned and the constructive project reviews they received will be used this Fall to improve their inventions and potentially become a successful startup one day.

Many thanks to everyone who brought collaboration and creativity to Canmore this past weekend.

Abra O’Leary, Innovate Canmore Ambassador Program Coordinator