More than 36 young people from across Guyana attended the STEMGuyana information session and player assessment for the August 2018, First Global robotics championship to be held in Mexico City, Mexico. Five students between the ages of 15 to 18 years old will represent Guyana in Mexico City; one Coach and one Assistant Coach, two Mentors and a PRO will also travel with the team.
Local Director Colin Sawh noted that, “the selection committee is looking for young people who are curious, hard-working, disciplined, unafraid of facing challenges, determined and creative. There was no grade requirement in 2017 and there will be no grade requirement in 2018. We believe that ‘attitude determines altitude’ and we are looking for young people with great attitudes who will be good team members”
After a beginning information session, the candidates were placed into three groups along with candidates for coaches and mentors and were given an IT challenge to solve. The teams will work on their challenges until First Global releases the official competition challenge and until the selection committee has enough information to make the final selections. The challenge identified during the selection process will be for each team to research, design, build, program and test any component of an automated garbage collection system. Teams will build their solutions using the popular Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit.
STEMGuyana Administrator, Ms Aiesha Peters noted that, “the young people who attended our information session were enthusiastic and excited and they worked together liked they had known each other for years. After today’s session was over, nearly three hours later, many of the students wanted to remain at the club-house to work on the challenge. We had to insist that they leave. We at STEMGuyana really love that kind of enthusiasm”
STEMGuyana Co-Founder, Karen Abrams reported that,” all of the young people who are going through the evaluation process will be lifelong members of STEMGuyana. Although many of them won’t travel to Mexico, they will be a part of our very important ‘home team’. Last year’s home team members were critical to our success in Washington DC.” Abrams went on to state that, “all of our young people will be learning collaboration skills, cooperation skills, strategies for dealing with conflict, and they will also learn resilience and determination as many of their designs won’t work the first time resulting in them having to go back to the drawing board to perfect their models. The youth will also learn to design, build and program robots, so everyone will gain unbelievable exposure, experience and knowledge through this process. There will be no losers”
STEMGuyana’s evaluation sessions for 2018 candidates will continue each Saturday from 10am at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The 2018 preparation and travel will be sponsored by the Ministry of Education and GTT. Companies interested in sponsoring the 2018 robotics team are encouraged to contact STEMGuyana at email@example.com.