Lassonde Technology Faire Review

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The Lassonde Technology Faire on April 25 at the Lassonde Building at York University provided fun and flavor in a variety of activities in leading edge technologies and entrepreneurship to over 175 attendees from high schools, academia, and industry.

In the Renaissance tradition of a trade marketplace, the multifaceted Faire offered 3D Design and Printing workshops for secondary students and post-secondary academics, an Entrepreneurship Pitch Session, Co-op and Career Exhibits, and Engineering capstone project presentations.

Sixty secondary students from four Toronto schools gathered in the Lassonde labs to participate in interactive workshops presented by the Centre for Information Visualization and Data Driven Design (CIVDDD) and collaborator the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), and supported by GAMAY Lab.

The students were immersed in learning design concepts, 3D Printing, Arduino and servo connectivity, and robotics. Led by presenter Ryan Schmidt from Autodesk with his MeshMixer software, 10 teams of students fashioned imaginative fingers in 3D computer graphic files for 3D printing in fluorescent plastic PLA filament.

While their creations were being built in five MakerBot Replicator 2 printers provided by MAKELAB, the students got hands-on with Thomas Young, a graduate student in Computer Science at the Lassonde School of Engineering, in an Arduino and Servos workshop with wire cutters, connector cables, Arduinos, and servos to make robotic motion driven by computer code.

The teams applied what they had learned in attaching their 3D printed fingers to a rotating the gear bar driven by a servo motor embedded inside a 3D printed hand on a computerized armature.

With the assistance of the multi-disciplinary design team at Lassonde in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science that created the robotic hand, the hand waved, and the teen teams were triumphant!

During lunch, attendees browsed the CIVDDD research posters and videos, as well as the Co-op and Career Exhibits including companies such as Natural Resources Canada, Blackberry, and Dapasoft complemented by exhibits from the Lassonde Co-operative Education Program to promote the new co-op program at Lassonde, and York University’s Career Services to promote technology internships through their TIP program.

The afternoon Entrepreneurship Pitch Session featured four teams from the undergraduate Entrepreneurship for Engineers class led by Prof. Moren Levesque at Schulich School of Business, a new curricular collaboration between Schulich School of Business and the Lassonde School of Engineering. The teams delivered polished and professional pitches to a panel of five expert entrepreneur judges.

After a thorough deliberation of the teams’ presentations, the judges awarded and congratulated the 1st Place of $2,000 to Mint team Andrew Oh, Gurtej Sidhu, and Charu Jaiswal; 2nd Place of $1,000 to Horizon team Ian Tomaszewski, Shenalie Fernando, Patrick Hazzard, and Joy Choi; and 3rd Place of $500 to Newton team Omeed Safaee-Rad, Zain Adil, Vadium Staradzetka, and Manjeet Kaur.

The afternoon intermission was highlighted by a presentation by Eric Shear, a Lassonde student in Physics and Astronomy, on their team’s Inspiration Mars Design Competition project, ranked first among Canadian entries, and in the semi-finals for the global Mars Society 2014 competition. In collaboration with the Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the project took seven months to develop.

Rounding out a full day at the Faire was a diversity of ingenuity and inventive Engineering 4000 oral presentations led by capstone project director Prof. Ebrahim Ghadar-Zadeh. 

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