Lo-Ellen student wins prestigious $100,000 Schulich scholarship
The scholarship is for Tyler Smith’s engineering studies at McMaster University
Tyler Smith, a 12th grade student in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Lo-Ellen Park High School, has been awarded a $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship to study engineering at McMaster University.
The scholarship recognizes outstanding young Canadian leaders who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in a STEM field of study – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Smith also won a FIRST Alumni scholarship worth $15,000 as well as an Engineering Research Experience Award that will get him a research position on campus working with a professor or a start-up. next summer.
Smith provides instructional leadership at Lo-Ellen Park’s Engineering, Design and Innovative Technology (EDIT) Lab, where students are challenged to design, collaborate and create. The EDIT Lab fosters an innovative mindset, where students gain understanding and skills through hands-on learning.
An active member of Lo-Ellen Park’s award-winning FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team, Smith advances STEM opportunities in school and in the community. FIRST Canada recognized his contributions as one of two Dean’s List finalists in Ontario in 2021.
He is currently an advocate for STEM education as a member of the FIRST Canada Youth Executive Council. He plans to continue in a mentoring role during his post-secondary studies.
“I am honored to have been selected to be a Schulich Leader,” said Smith, who is interested in a career in mechatronics engineering. “This scholarship and the support of FIRST will allow me to pursue my passion in engineering. I am grateful for the support and the opportunity to be mentored by leaders in the field.
“On behalf of the Rainbow District School Board, I want to congratulate Tyler on his outstanding accomplishments,” said board chair Bob Clement. “Tyler is part of the next generation of engineers, designers, innovators and creators. We commend him for his leadership and thank him for his mentorship.
“Tyler is very deserving of these honors and we are very proud of him,” said Lo-Ellen Park High School Principal Pamela Potvin. “We wish Tyler continued success, knowing he will be an exemplary ambassador as a Schulich leader and an inspiring role model.”
Dan Monti, head of the technology studies program at Lo-Ellen Park High School, taught Smith throughout high school. He also worked closely with Smith as head of the school’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in manufacturing.
“Tyler’s ability in STEM is among the strongest I’ve encountered in my 14-year career teaching both engineering robotics and higher math at Lo-Ellen Park High School. “, Monti said. “Technically, Tyler has independently learned math concepts well above his grade level to ensure students continue to drive the EDIT program at Lo-Ellen Park for years to come. “
As a student of the 9th grade Engineering, Design and Innovative Technology (EDIT) course, Smith demonstrated a passion for computer programming and design. This experience inspired him to join the FIRST Technical Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams at Lo-Ellen Park, where he learned the basics of robot programming and control from senior students on the team.
From then on, he pledged to pay it forward.
Smith immediately began recruiting his peers into the robotics team and EDIT classes by praising his experiences and helping his peers learn programming skills. He shared his learning with students on FIRST Canada Live and provided workshops and video tutorials for other FIRST Tech Challenge teams locally and across the province.
In Grade 11, Smith took on a leadership role in a new course at Lo-Ellen Park that brings the FIRST Technical Challenge into the classroom through the technical design process. For the course, Smith developed video tutorials of programming in Java to control a mecanum transmission. As a direct result of his work, four robots have been successfully created in the classroom by 10th graders with no prior experience. Students were able to program and control robots through autonomous and tele-op routines.
More recently, Smith participated in a community research project with a dedicated group of 12th grade EDIT students. They worked with a local engineering and research company to develop a working prototype for a commercial renewable energy product.
“This work has normally been reserved for post-secondary graduate students,” Monti said. “As the student leader of this project, Tyler was tasked with learning about three-phase electricity generation in renewable wind energy fields and applying his knowledge to the development of a commercial energy prototype. Over the past semester, he has helped define the scope of the project, built a working small-scale AC turbine generator, created the custom electronic circuit, and developed a monitoring system to regulate current delivery through to its personalized prototype.
As he prepares to graduate, Smith leaves a lasting legacy.
Lo-Ellen Park High School received $40,000 in sponsorship from the EDIT program to develop the prototype based on the framework it developed. The work will be part of an experiential learning project for students over the next three years.