Mon | Feb 24, 2020

Robotics participants double for second year - 16 schools to get debut in championship

Published:Friday | February 14, 2020 | 12:27 AM

The second staging of the FIRST Tech Challenge Jamaica National Robotics Championship was launched at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Wellness & Recreation Centre yesterday.

The championship will be held on February 28 and 29 at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College.

The NCB Foundation is the title sponsor and CEO Nadeen Matthews Blair said the number of participating schools has increased from 14 in the inaugural year to 30.

“The programme deals with the technical competencies of the young people, but one of the things I most appreciate about the programme is the development of the communication skills, the integration of teamwork, and collaboration, and that is very deliberate,” Matthews Blair said.

In his greetings, Alando Terrelonge, minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, lauded Jamaica College’s (JC) robotics programme.

The Old Hope Road institution has steadily participated in the competition, usually held in the United States, since 2009.

“I know that JC has extended help to schools like Immaculate and other institutions with their own robotics programme, and it is to be commended. It shows what we can achieve as a nation when we work together,” the state minister said.

Gavin Samuels, affiliate partner representative of FIRST Tech Challenge Jamaica, highlighted that they are working to change the stereotype that robotics is for males.

“Some of the co-ed schools would only have boys on their teams. We are moving away from that. We are expanding the participation to attract more girls to the teams and give them an opportunity to realise that they, too, can participate,” Samuels said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com