Who are we?

We are FIRST Team 2994, the ASTECHZ, a community-based competitive robotics team from Kanata, Ontario. Our rookie year was in 2009, and we’ve been competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition ever since.

Starting up in September 2006 as an after-school club, our the goal was to design and build a robot to compete in the Ontario Skills Competition. With only four students and one mentor, the team saw limited success in its first season. With a greater determination than ever and a few more members, the team placed eighth in the province in its second year of competition at Ontario Skills. In September 2009, Rolling Thunder, now known as The ASTECHZ and mentored by FIRST Team 1053, competed in our inaugural season with the FIRST Robotics Competition at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. With limited resources but with much determination, we ended the competition in forty-third place out of fifty-three teams, a successful showing for our little rookie team. In recent years, we have represented Ottawa at the FIRST World Championships in Detroit, and have been recognized as having one of the top safety programs in Ontario.

In 2019, our team transitioned from a school-based team to community-based. This change was made to open up opportunities for students from other schools to be able to experience FIRST Robotics. Our current team consists of students in grades 9-12 students representing 5 different schools. Not only does our team design, program & build a 120lb robot, create safety programs, and write business plans, we also inspire and teach the next generation of young innovators about STEM and their possible impact on the future. We teach students skills in areas  like communication, problem-solving, allowing them to go anywhere and do anything they could dream of.

Our team is very safety-focused, operating award-winning programs including our safety passports, first-aid initiatives, mental health promotion, and of course, the safety packages that we hand out at each competition. Last season we won the Safety Award at the Durham College and North Bay District Events, as well the Ontario Provincial Championship, recognizing us as one of the top teams in Ontario with regards to Safety.

Our Mission

  • To inspire students to explore, experience, and appreciate technology, math, science and engineering through hands-on participation in team activities
  • To promote life skills such as teamwork, responsibility, time management and accountability and to prepare members for leadership roles in our community and in their professional lives.
  • To promote student success by providing a hands on learning environment where all styles of learners can find success.
  • To promote the ideals of Gracious Professionalism and Co-oppertition in all that we do
  • To give students opportunities to experience real-world engineering, be involved in technical and non-technical processes and work with industry professionals.
  • To be role models in our community, using our knowledge and resources to help other students, mentors and team succeed.

Our Name & Motto

In 2009, the team adopted the name “Rolling Thunder” as a direct result of the robot designed for competition. When the doors on the robot open and closed, it sounded like thunder. The following year, the team decided to develop a new look and feel. After much discussion, a new team name and motto was selected, and “The ASTECHZ” was born. ASTECHZ represents the following: AS stands for All Saints, TECH stands for Technology, and Z is a cool way of pluralizing the word. The name ASTECHZ suits us because we are a group of students who are interested and take part in technological courses at our school rather than being in the arts or sports programs.

We are the “techies”. Our motto is “Dedication, Determination, and Duct Tape”. The ASHTECHZ, much like their name sake, are a group of dedicated, determined individuals. Everyone needs a little duct tape in their life now and then. The success of our team, at our first few competitions, was a result of the team’s dedication, and yes – the use of large quantities of duct tape!