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  • Writer's pictureNII

First-ever SWERVE technology festival sees thousands of visitors touch the future

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Nuclear Innovation Institute welcomed more than 3,500 visitors over its three-day event

Two young girls quickly overcome their shyness with a robot “dog” at the first-ever SWERVE event. Scroll down for more photos!

From robot dance parties and 3D printed delights to virtual spacewalks outside the International Space Station and towering block creations, there was something for each of the 3,500+ visitors to the first-ever SWERVE festival this past weekend.

Hosted by the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) along with high-energy exhibitors, SWERVE gave guests of all ages a hands-on feel for how they will live and work in the future.

Parent Hillary Einboden and her family speak with an engineer from MDA Canada, the company behind the Canadarm, about one of their sophisticated surveillance robots.
“We drove an hour and a half to check it out,” described Hillary Einboden, parent and small business owner of Home Learning Coach. “And my kids loved it so much we returned for a second day!"

She added: "SWERVE sparked so much inspiration, making it an event not to be forgotten. Most powerful was the chance for us to chat with passionate engineers in various robotic and technological fields—such incredible role models for my young scientists to learn from!"

Experiences echoing Hillary’s popped up again and again over the course of the three-day event:

  • The young girls cautiously approaching one of the event’s robot “dogs”—followed moments later by the children commanding it to “Sit!” and “Dance!”

  • Proud students posing for photos in the ball pit after successfully sticking “cancer cells” to their medical isotope “super suits”

  • Report after report from parents whose kids have now added VR headsets, coding robots and green screens to their holiday wish lists

  • The senior couple who described their relief at experiencing “no-pressure-to-buy” electric vehicle test drives in the Drive the future exhibit

But none of these would have been possible without the support of SWERVE event sponsors:

  • Major sponsors: Bruce Power, BWXT Canada, Cameco, E.S. Fox, Kinectrics, SNC-Lavalin, Power Workers Union, and the Government of Ontario through the Reconnect Ontario 2022 Grant.

  • General sponsors: General Fusion, Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Nuvia Canada, Scotiabank, TC Energy, and Westinghouse Electric Canada.

“Throughout the weekend we saw children and adults encountering exhibitor staff who are passionate about their work and able to meet people where they are, bringing audiences along this journey of technological change we’re all experiencing,” described Bruce Wallace, NII’s President and CEO.

He added: “Thank you to all of our partner organizations and volunteers for their time and energy—and to our sponsors for supporting our vision for SWERVE.”

These SWERVE exhibitors, volunteers and event partners are:

  • Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre

  • Bruce County Public Library

  • Bruce Power Pensioners’ Association

  • Dave’s Armoury

  • Electric Vehicle Network

  • Georgian College

  • Ivy Charge & Go

  • MacLean Engineering

  • MDA Canada

  • Mitchell Cycle

  • Mosaic Manufacturing


  • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

  • Peninsula Ford

  • Plug’n Drive

  • ReDeTec Inc.

  • Saugeen Ojibway Nation

  • Saugeen Shores Rotary Club

Follow along for highlights from the event at, on Instagram @NIIExplore and Facebook @OntarioNII.

Learning about the science behind gravity while building towers in the NII ExploreZone.
After learning about the medical isotopes produced at Bruce Power, a young girl counts the number of “cancer cells” she was able to capture with her Lutetitum-177 “super suit.”
A student on a class trip to SWERVE codes a robot to navigate a tricky path in the NII ExploreZone.
Georgian College’s Deb Witmer shows a young SWERVE visitor how to take the pulse of Pediatric HAL, a patient simulator used in the College’s Nursing and Health Sciences programs.
A teen virtually drives a vehicle in a mine—accompanied by Jeff Nicholls, an instructor from NORCAT.


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