Our team

This year’s Team Helios 5009 has brought together a wide variety of people, each with unique skills and abilities. We united for the purpose of making a robot, and stayed together because of the amazing company of our teammates.

We have a phenomenal group of people on our team who share a deep love for all that is STEM and robot related. This is what defines us as a team, and brings us together as a family. We all came for robots, and stayed for the amazing people we work with and all the memories we have made and will make.

Team members

Amer | Programmer

Amer is a 12th grader from École Michaëlle-Jean and is 18 years old. This is Amer’s second year with FTC. Amer is a Canadian citizen who was born in Toronto. He joined team 5009 because robotics piqued his interests after a long-time friend asked him to join the team. Amer has taken the role of a programmer on the team this season. This will be Amer’s second year being and a part of the FIRST and Team Helios and Amer’s first time programming.

Charles | Builder

Charles-Ariel is a 10th grade student from Maurice-Lavallee school in Edmonton Alberta. He is 14 years old and has been doing robotics since 8th grade. He did 2 years in FLL and this he joined team Helios 5009, his first year in FTC. In his years of FLL he  once went to california for the international competition. Charles mostly helps build the robot with the other builders.

Etianne | Team Leader, Engineering Notebook

Etianne is a 12th grade student from École Michaëlle-Jean, and it is her fourth year on team 5009 from École Maurice-Lavallee in Edmonton, Alberta. She is 17 and has been interested in robotics since she participated in an introductory class to FLL in her 7th grade taught by M. Manseau. She joined Team Helios when she was in 9th grade to learn new things about robotics such as building and learning how the mechanics work on a robot. Her love of math and physics was also a factored in her decision to join the team. When she first joined, Etianne was the safety officer, part designer, and a scout. Two years ago she joined the Notebook team. Etianne was a Dean’s list finalist in 2017 and 2018 and is now team lead, outreach coordinator and part designer.

Jacob | Builder

Jacob is a 12th grader Albertan, born in Edmonton, that is attending Maurice-Lavallée high school. He first started competing with FIRST in 9th grade at Joseph-Moreau with Les Panthères, a FIRST Lego League Team, after his friends suggested that he join the team. He had already done a FLL class, and since he enjoyed it, he followed their advice. However, his buddie’s suggestion is not the only thing that motivated him to join. He also enjoys building things and understanding  how they work. Jacob joined Helios in his tenth grade when he changed school. He is currently a builder for the third year in a row on the Helios 5009 robotics team, which is reminiscent of his role with Les Panthères.

Justin | Builder

Justin is a 10th grader francophone born in Edmonton Alberta, he is currently attending Maurice-Lavallée high school as it is his school of choice. He not done many robotic-related things before he joined Team Helios, but he was inspired to join the team because he had experience building things for fun and in classes. Justin is new to Team Helios and is eager to learn from his mistakes as well as develop new skills. He is a builder this year and plans to be a builder in the future.

Michaylla | Programmer

Michaylla is a 10th grade student attending Maurice-Lavallée high school and she is taking part in the robotics 5009 Helios team this year. She has a small amount of experience with programing from last year at her previous school by attending one of their meets. As well as building and programming from her Engineering cadet corps. Michaylla is extremely interested and was inspired from that meet on and can’t wait to fully experience such an interactive team.

Paxton | Builder

Paxton is a 12th grade student attending École Maurice-Lavallée in Edmonton, Alberta and is a part of the school’s robotics team, Helios 5009. Paxton has always had an interest in building things and working with his hands and has even taken an FLL class in 8th grade but did not find it to his liking due to the restrictions when it came to building, unlike building in FTC. Despite this he never joined the robotics team until he was in his senior year at high school. But, he not only joined for the fun of building, but he also joined because he had friends who were already on the team. He is glad he had friends on the team that convinced him to join, but is even more glad to be making new ones as well as creating lasting relationships with his teammates through competing this year.

Romain | Programmer

Romain is a 12th grade student attending Maurice-Lavallée school in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He joined Team Helios 5009 in his 10th grade at Maurice-Lavallée. He started as photographer and a builder for Team Helios 5009. In 11th grade Romain decided to focus on building and was a full time builder. This year, Romain decided to attack the role of programmer. He chose to take on this role because he wants to pursue studies in computer science and also wants to work on the different aspects of robotics. He has never programmed before but he is very excited to start and to learn how to program. He is also looking forward for this season and for the competitions to come.

Samuel | Programmer

Samuel is a 12th grade student from Edmonton Alberta. He was first introduced to robotics in the 10th grade when he and his friends got together and created a robotics team at École Alexandre-Taché. He wanted to create a robotics team to explore the world of programming and to improve his fabrication skills. In  11th grade, he got the chance to compete with his team at the relic recovery where they finished 7th place. Since he transferred to École Maurice-Lavallée for his last year of highschool, he joined team Helios 5009. He is part of both the programming and building aspects of the team.

Geneviève | Engineering Notebook

Geneviève is a first-year journalist for team Helios 5009. After the need for a journalist was mentioned by a member, she decided she would join. She had always had an interest in robotics and plans to take advantage of this opportunity to further her knowledge in programming, robotics and construction.


René | Building Mentor

René is mentor for team Helios 5009, this is René’s second year mentoring. René had been a student on the robotics team for 3 years previous to becoming a mentor. Due to this he has a lot of experience in the design, planning and building aspects of FTC. René joined the team because he thought “This looks cool, I want to do it” and then he did it. René enjoyed the friendly competition, the travels and interacting with new people. He hopes to be able to introduce the new students to how fun of FTC can be and to help them to see how these new experiences will help them.

Chih-Hung | Programming Mentor

Chih-Hung is an Alumni of Team Helios 5009 of Maurice-Lavallée. This is Chih-Hung’s first year as a mentor with the team. Last year, he was the main programmer and a driver. In 9th grade, he was part of École Joseph-Moreau’s robotics team, Team 2059, Les Panthères. Back then, Chih-Hung was mostly involved with the construction and journal aspects of the team. When Chih-Hung went on to high school, he joined Team Helios, making the transition to FTC. He joined the robotics team because he was interested in robots from a young age.However most of the schools that he went to didn’t offer a robotics class/program, except for Joseph-Moreau and Maurice-Lavallée. This year, Chih-Hung is mostly focusing on helping the fresh, new programmers. However, he will be glad to help the construction team when needed.

James | Programming Mentor

James is a programming mentor for team 5009 Helios. He is an alumnus of the team and has been mentoring the team for 4 years. When he was in the team as a student, he was a programmer. He is a software engineering student and has extensive experience with Android Studio and robotics in general. He is currently Software Team Lead with the Autonomous Robotics Vehicle Project (ARVP) at the University of Alberta. He teaches the programming team to program in Java with Android Studio and helps the new programmers use the sensors and cameras needed in this year’s competition.

Thomas | Programming Mentor

Thomas has been involved with FIRST since the 8th grade when he participated in the First Lego League with his Junior High School. He has always enjoyed robotics, mathematics and sciences and they have been his favourite subjects ever since a young age. He admired the technicians and programmers that were capable of animating metallic machines, advancing social communication networks and improving the quality of life in the lives of others. Once he had obtained the opportunity to take his passion and apply it to a tangible and achievable goal, he was instantly attracted. FIRST is the first true chance Thomas had to utilize his knowledge he had accumulated in addition to the connection he created with his teammates and the opposition. Thomas learnt how to apply them towards a useful goal through his participation in the FIRST program. In his first year in the FIRST Lego League competition his team managed to become runner-up in the Alberta provincial competition and the winners of the challenge the next year, granting them a spot in the American Open FLL competition that took place in California in April 2013. He was also successful in FTC, making three trips to the St. Louis World Championship.

Before he graduated, Thomas was most involved in coding for the robot as he was entranced by the ability to take command of his own functioning robot. Although he is still better at programming, he is always willing to lend a hand to the Construction Department or any of the other the team aspects of the FIRST competition. This year he will mostly help with training beginners in programmers as one of their mentors to increase the programming capabilities for the team. He hopes that Team 5009 and other FTC teams will enjoy the stimulating and exciting experiences that FIRST competitions have in store, as they have been to him in the past.


Philippe | Team Manager

Philippe is in his fifth year as coach for Team 5009 Helios, and holds this position after having mentored the team for three years under Mr. Gariépy’s leadership. Philippe first got involved with Team 5009 when Mr. Gariépy asked him to help him with the technical aspect of the competition in their first year. After having accompanied the team to the Alberta Championship in Red Deer, it was clear for Philippe that he had to be part of the team. Philippe has such strong belief in the FTC Program that he also took the role of FTC Affiliate Partner for Alberta five years ago in order to keep the FTC Canadian Championship from being disbanded. Having been a graduate of École Maurice-Lavallée himself, he now has more than ten years of experience as an IT System Administrator for the Francophone school district in Edmonton. Philippe does not work in any particular area with the team members, but oversees their daily activities and manages the team.

Steve | Team Coach

Steve is a mentor and a coach for team 5009 Helios. He has been mentoring the team for 7 years and has mentored a number of FLL teams during the last decade. He works as a programmer for the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) in Edmonton to assist with applications that his company deems useful. He is also interested in robotics on the high school level. As a coach for Team 5009 Helios, he teaches the members how to code in JAVA, the programming language utilized by the FTC robots, and helps the new builders as they gain experience with Tetrix and metal materials, which are the base of the robots in FTC.

Stéphane  | Team Teacher

Stéphane joined Team 5009 Helios this year.  As a teacher representative, he witnessed a talented group of dedicated students, coaches, mentors and volunteers take a small francophone high school of 250 students to a level that can only be described as outstanding. It is with great enthusiasm that he is looking forward to contributing to the team’s success in the years to come. Stéphane teaches physics, mathematics and programming at École Maurice-Lavallée.