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News release

Emerson & Spartan Controls Announce Winners of First Virtual STEM Competition

June 23, 2020

CALGARY, ALBERTA – Emerson and Spartan Controls today announced the winners of their inaugural virtual STEM competition, which was designed to foster creativity and ingenuity in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for children currently learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event took place over several weeks and featured submissions from nearly 30 applicants, ranging from six to 17 years of age. As an Emerson Impact Partner, Spartan Controls serves as an exclusive sales channel for many Emerson brands.

“We recognize many families are adjusting to at-home learning right now, and we wanted to do our part to help keep children actively engaged with STEM-related topics,” said Ryan Garrah, president of Emerson Canada. “Through the virtual competition, we encouraged kids of all ages to tap into their critical thinking skills and use their imagination to solve something meaningful to them, all while staying safe in their homes.”

As part of Emerson’s “We Love STEM” campaign – a longstanding initiative to inspire young people to pursue opportunities in STEM – participants were tasked with developing thoughtful solutions under one of two project themes: Automate & Transform and Conquer COVID-19. Through these two categories, applicants submitted proposals that included their own innovative solutions for challenges facing their communities, such as tackling safe physical distancing at schools, improving food security and transforming everyday tasks.

In addition to Garrah, judges included 11-year-old inventor Sophia Fairweather, founder of; Grant Wilde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spartan Controls; and Bill Rosehart, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary.

Throughout the design and development process, student volunteers from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary were available as mentors, providing support and feedback as applicants built their submissions.

“The students at Schulich were incredibly eager to lend their leadership and expertise to mentor the children as they developed their ideas,” Wilde said. “As young visionaries themselves, I believe they saw the project as a great way to give back to the next generation of innovators, in addition to highlighting the many opportunities made possible through STEM.”

Submissions were reviewed by the judging panel, with the top five finalists from each category selected to present their project via live video. Winners and a description of their respective submissions are included as follows:

First Place (Age 6-9)
Kaiden and Caleb Manji, Calgary

Second Place (Age 6-9)
Katelyn James, Calgary
How to Make Handwashing Fun

Third Place (Age 6-9)
Aarav Pandhare, Calgary
Solar Cooker

First Place (Age 10-17)
Avani and Rheeya Sidhu, Calgary
Bicycle Sensor

Second Place (Age 10-17)
Sara, Emma and Jacob Durant, Calgary
Fruit Washer

Third Place (Age 10-17)
Prateek Shreyas, Calgary
Sterilizing N95 Masks with Electrolysis

Launched in 2015, Emerson’s “We Love STEM” campaign seeks to empower the next generation of engineers by connecting science to technological advances and modern conveniences. Organized by Emerson employees locally, dozens of We Love STEM events have been held around the world to reach thousands of young students.

For more information on Emerson’s “We Love STEM” campaign activities, visit

About Emerson 

Emerson (NYSE:EMR - News), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit

About Spartan Controls

Spartan Controls is the leading provider of automation, valves, measurement and process control solutions in Western Canada. For over 55 years, Spartan has provided customers with high performance solutions, industry expertise, lifecycle support, and technical training — delivering value our customers want.

Creating a sustainable modern world with innovative automation, our solutions are used in all process industries including oil and gas, oil sands, mining, pulp and paper, power, pipeline, and municipal. We are dedicated to providing exceptional customer experiences where expertise and collaboration come together. For more information, visit Spartan Controls.