Gr. 9’s Preview Amazing Inventions at UBC

Gr. 9's interact with the PR2 Personal Robot
Gr. 9’s interact with the PR2 Personal Robot, ICICS is the only university facility in Canada equipped with this robot. Click for more photos of the Gr.9’s interacting with these amazing inventions.

On February 1, the entire Grade 9 class wrapped up their electricity unit with a trip to UBC to tour several state-of-the-art labs at the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS).

In the labs, students had a chance to interact with faculty, graduate students and their amazing inventions, which included robots, 3D televisions and movie making techniques, haptic devices, and advanced medical equipment.

In the girls’ own words the experience was “really fun”, “inspiring”, and “eye-opening”. Specifically, they found the presenters very friendly, the topics interesting and were most impressed with having hands-on time with all of the devices including the DaVinci remote surgical operating system. This surgical robot’s guidance system works so that surgeons don’t have to rely on vision alone to guide instruments. “Charlie” the PR2 robot assistant was also a favourite. This personal robot is designed to help the elderly and those with disabilities. The girls also had fun with advanced 3D technology. Watch this video of the girls interacting with faculty and graduate students, and their research projects.

Blue Whale Skeleton
Blue Whale Skeleton at Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Click for more photos from the Gr. 9 field trip.

The afternoon was spent at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum touring the exhibits as an introduction to the Biology unit. The favourite activity there was the video telling the story of the blue whale skeleton that hangs in the entrance.

A huge thank you goes out to Fatima Danji for inviting our students, and for organizing the ICICS tours. Fatima is a YHS alumna (Class of ’93!), who finds herself back in Vancouver working at this leading edge facility. Thanks as well to the labs of Dr. Elizabeth Croft, Dr. Tim Salcudean, Dr. Karon McLeon and Dr. Panos Nasiopoulos. The students expressed sincere gratitude to all of the presenters for taking the time out of their day to share their enthusiasm for research!

Click here for more photos from the field trip.


ICICS is a 60,000ft², 7-storey facility housing 46 labs. Over 150 members from 18 different departments collaborate on ICICS’ programs and state-of-the-art lab facilities.

Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics Commerce, Medicine, Pyschology, and Music are just a few of the areas that work together. These research projects gain added dimension from this mix of talents.

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