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Springbank Community Association raising funds for local school's robotics lab

The Springbank Community Association (SCA) is holding its first ever raffle in June to help raise money for Springbank Community High School’s robotics team and innovation lab.

The Springbank Community Association (SCA) is holding its first ever raffle in June to help raise money for Springbank Community High School’s robotics team and innovation lab.

Karin Hunter, the president of the SCA, said the community association’s vision is for the raffle to become an annual tradition to support a local project or group.

“This being our first [time doing it], we decided to partner with the robotics students at Springbank Community High School to beef up their robotics and technology lab,” she said. “These kids do amazing things, and we want to get them some more tools with which to improve their opportunities for success.”

The raffle will feature nearly $8,000 worth of prizes, most of which are sponsored by local businesses. The grand prize is a pair of diamond earrings from Alberta Diamond Exchange, valued at $2,530.

“They're gorgeous – they're sort of dangly ones, and really striking,” Hunter said.

Other prizes up for grabs include gift cards and coupons to Springbank restaurants and businesses, including Calaway Park, Springbank Air Training College, Bow Point Nursery garden centre and Springbank Pet Resort, among others.

“We have lots of local business opportunities, so the local business community has come together to support this, which for us is really exciting,” Hunter said. “We’re trying to connect our community, so we actually look at this as a really good way to get some excitement generated within our community for positive [reasons]. I just hope it can continue next year and that this is a success, and something we can build off of.”

Through the raffle, the SCA is hoping to raise $20,000 for the local high school’s innovation lab by selling 1,000 tickets at $20 apiece.

“I had been hearing over the last couple of years that this program was trying to grow and these kids were doing really neat things, just with not enough, in terms of the technology they had,” Hunter said. “I knew there was a motivated group of kids and teacher, who is really creative and has done some great things with these students.”

Springbank Community High School’s innovation lab is approximately four years old, according to the school’s science and innovation teacher, Bobby Mathew. He said he started the lab and robotics team after noticing a lack of opportunities for high school students to learn about modern technologies.

“I realized there has to be a fundamental shift,” he said. “Basically, what I'm doing is taking our whole schools' industrial arts and vocations and modernizing them.”

The lab includes “additive and reductive” technologies for students to experiment and learn with, according to Mathew, such as 3D printers and computers the students built or re-built themselves. The students also learn to code and built robots.

“In the innovation studio, it's not just about building robots but [preparing students for] future technologies and occupations,” he said. 

Mathew said the funding raised by the SCA will help the school purchase more high-tech technologies for the innovation lab, such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and laser cutters. He added the lab is also in need of more traditional shop equipment, such as saws, sanders and drills.

“From a liaison standpoint, I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to help us,” he said. “Our school doesn't have a shop, so the fact this is going into a pseudo-shop space is making a huge difference.”

Regarding the raffle, Hunter said early bird prize draws will be held June 4 and 11 at 5 p.m. in the Springbank Park For All Seasons parking lot, while the grand prize draw will be held at the same time and location on June 18. Tickets are available for purchase at springbankcommunity.com

For more information, call 403-888-1831 or email info@springbankcommunity.com

Scott Strasser, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19