We are John and Pam Catricala. We have lived in Oakville for 21 years with our 4 children, and recently moved to Campbellville. We are very passionate about our hobbies, and Lego Robotics is a hobby very close to our hearts. We have spent many happy hours, with 2 robot kits and 2 teams of our 4 kids, challenging each other to create and design robots to complete our own various challenges.The competition was fierce but the fun was even better! As parents, we have encouraged and supported our children on winning robotic teams while at River Oaks School during their elementary years and teams with us at E-Bots. Our youngest was on our E-Bots World Championship FLL team!
Now with our families past experiences, John plays lead role with his background in computers (IT). He was the CIO at Mackenzie Financial when he left in 2009 to change his focus and bring his passion to a new career. Both Pam & John’s teaching experiences from the Ontario Science Centre have given them a background to work with students interested in robotics and we are now in our 9th year.
We have coached 31 FLL teams, as of this year, and have 6 Provincial Champion trophies and 8 of our teams have advanced to World competitions with one actually winning “the Worlds” in 2010. We have also coached VEX robotics for 5 years and won 4 World Championship trophies.
Our first child and only girl, Stephanie, has joined us on our robotics journey. She has been able to mix her robotics experience over the years with her love of kids, and in an FLL season, her drama background is an asset for our presentations and prepping for judging! Her FLL team in 2015 were the Provincial West winners and travelled to the World Festival in St. Louis. Last year she coached the first ever Dundas team to a 2nd place Champions victory at the Niagara Regional Competition and they proceeded to Provincials. Stephanie will be on maternity leave until our spring session.
Lego Robotics is on the hearts of many our E-Bots students too! We are happy to say that we are able to have students who have been with us for years, growing up and sharing their love of robotics with your children too:
Andrew initally came to us many years ago in our other business “FastCats”. He just had that aptitude for building and doing something technical and the remote control cars lended themselves very well to it. His dad, him and John sat and built an R/C car together. He joined us some years later at E-Bots and is now a fixture. He is the lead programmer on our VEX team and was instrumental in starting up a VEX team at his high school, not an easy feat. He is the “goto” if we can’t find John when something goes wrong with our computer hardware and we will miss him greatly as he moves on to university next year.
Griffin arrived to us late in his middle school years but that didn’t stop him following all of our teams around to competition, like making his parents drive him all the way to Waterloo! We pretty much had to take him on because he was not going to go away….and we are glad he didn’t! He brings alot of enthusiasm to whatever he is doing and with younger siblings, he is a great WeeBots teacher! He is an integral part of our VEX team and is finishing off a term at the Scence Centre high school this fall!
Kalli has been with us for, well… we’ve lost count! She arrived one summer and didn’t leave, she did all her E-Bots levels and said, what’s next? She is in her final year in high school and is the head honcho of our VEX Pilons team. She did 4 years of FLL and is in her 4th year on VEX. She teaches with us in her spare time (what’s that?) and is planning on Engineering next year at U of W. She is a great role model to all our little girls of what they can become when they get older.
Nick has been with us since 2008 but didn’t start his own journey with us until 2 years ago. He was hauled back and forth to E-Bots with his older brother and older sister who were in our initial group of students. At that time, he hated lego and hated the robots because it was all his family did, his mum went on to volunteer at competitions and then his dad too and he was the only one “holding out”.But eventually it was too much for him and he came one summer, took a class, and was hooked. He gets a lot of teasing! He loves the younger students and is just amazed at some of the things they say. He is a new addition this year to our VEX team and we look forward to 4 more years with him.
Justin has been attending E-Bots with his brother, some of you may remember Devon. Justin is definitely the quieter of the two but he more quietly gets his teaching across and enjoys the weebots students so much. He always has a smile and is willing to help at anytime. The hours that he has put in to volunteering at our summer camp and public displays greatly surpasses his required school hours! Justin is in his last year of high school and is also on our VEX team, he competed with us on a Provincial winning FLL team and went to St. Louis to compete at the World Festival.
Zorawar has been on 2 of our FLL teams and has recently moved up to the VEX team. He is incredibly diligent to anything he is doing and does it with his whole heart. He has volunteered with us for 2 summers now, moving up to teaching weebots and enjoying every minute of it. We look forward to 4 years with him on our VEX team, that is if he doesn’t go pro playing tennis, his new interest.
We do not have traditional office hours as we work mostly evenings and weekends when the children are out of school and available to us. If you need to contact the office, the best way is through email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond promptly.
We have instructional classes running typically on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4:30-9pm, and days on Saturdays and Sundays. Other evenings we are working with competitive teams and may be in the facility.