Disha Prashar

Disha Prashar

Recently on May 9th, the Classy Cyborgs attended the 2016 Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery Conference. It was an amazing experience for our entire team as we all got to network with new people, and with people we already knew from previous events! As it is said, “it’s a small world”, and it certainly is.

First of all, eight of our team members went down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) and reached there at about 9am in the morning. This year at OCE Discovery, we had our own booth that we shared alongside our partner, York University. This was the first event ever for us where we had a working prototype to demo! Yes, you read that right! Alongside the OCE, we finally reached a huge milestone in our journey where we got a connection in between a mobile device and the Braille simulator! Our parents, coaches and all of us ourselves were all so happy to see this working. A video of the working Braille simulator is available on our Facebook page for you all to check out! It’s pretty cool!

Anyways, back to OCE Discovery.

Right behind our booth was also VentureLAB‘s booth, another partner of ours! They had this tent set up where you had to go in and find a key to unlock a prize. The first four of us that went in were James, Sammy, Sean, and Sebastian. After they returned and found the prize successfully, Jenna, Logan, Rhys and I went in and tried to find the prize, but we needed some help towards the end. Although overall, that was really fun!

As I mentioned before, we networked with a lot of people, including other companies who are also making products for the disabled just like us! We actually ended up meeting with a lot of companies that we had met before at the CNIB Braille Conference back in October, which was really great as we got to catch up with them about our project, and we got to hear about advancements in their projects. There were also a lot of booths to try on Virtual Reality glasses, which was pretty cool as well! I tried them on at three different booths and even though I knew that none of it is real, it still tricked me every time!

The morning passed by really quickly and it was now time for the luncheon, which was the most exciting thing for us the entire day! Why may you ask? Well, that is because the President and CEO of OCE, Dr. Tom Corr spoke about us to over 3000 delegates! He mentioned who we are, what we are doing, and how our journey has rolled out since September 2014. He as well told everyone about the competition we were in then which was the Learning Project CST Competition. Our team felt very honoured, overwhelmed and just so happy to be mentioned again at the luncheon for the second year in a row.

After the luncheon, we pretty much went around exploring other people’s inventions as we had networked we everyone in the morning. In the afternoon, I explored many interactive, fun and innovative video games with Rhys and Logan. We went around playing games for the Xbox with controllers, a bit of slapshot hockey, and a game table that I personally loved. The game table was electronic and had three different games on it that you could play which were air hockey, racing cars and foosball. The table was great, as well as all of the other games we played.

Overall, the 2016 OCE Discovery Conference was yet another great networking opportunity for us where we got to connect with many more new people as well as with ones we already knew. And once again, we are so grateful for all of the events that we get to attend as a team as we always have a blast at them, and we always come back home full of great memories.

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