STEMGuyana Prepping Team To Participate In International Robot Olympics July 2017 in Washington, DC

Representatives of the STEMGuyana initiative in association with local and diaspora sponsors and the Office of The First Lady will be preparing a team of Guyanese students to compete in the First Robot Olympics in Washington DC, during the summer of 2017.   More than 150 countries from around the world are expected to participate in this inaugural event.  The 2017 competitors will be tasked with building a robot solution which will address the problem of access to clean water by people from all around the world.  More public, corporate and private sponsors are expected to be announced in upcoming weeks.

“This is the first time that a local Guyanese team will compete in such an event and within a year of their first exposure to robotics!  But we are sending a local team to competition this year because our mission is to expose young people to global technology and perspectives.  We want them energized, motivated and exposed to big ideas and to other people who want to make a difference in their society using technology”, said STEMGuyana co-founder Karen Abrams.  “Exposure and inspiration are our goals for this team, we want them to return energized and with ideas.  Ideas matter!”

The local organizers are working to identify a group of 10 – 12 young people, to be members of the prep team in Guyana, many of whom were either camp participants or who were trained and certified as volunteer coaches during the summer of 2016.  Out of this group, the final three competition participants, 15 – 18 yrs old, will be chosen.  The adult mentor / coach who will travel with the team will be local Guyanese, Mr Ricky Chan, a Computer Science Engineering graduate from the Universidad “Máximo Gómez Báez” de Ciego de Ávila in Cuba and a certified member of robotics training offered by STEMGuyana during the Summer of 2016.

The team is expecting their competition robot to be in Guyana by the end of this week and is working to find a club house where they will be able to build, program and practice for competition.  While the team’s travel has already been funded, STEMGuyana is seeking corporate and  private sponsors to help cover operational costs associated with competition preparation.  To sponsor the STEMGuyana team, contact Karen Abrams at stemguyana@gmail.com.

FIRST Global will take place at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., 16-18 July 2017, with over 140 countries. Each nation will have one team present on this global stage. The students’ self-engineered robots will compete in a collaborative format that is focused on addressing one of the 14 Grand Science and Engineering Challenges facing the world today.

“The FIRST Global Challenge combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. During each of the numerous game rounds at FIRST Global, a nation’s team will be randomly placed into a different “alliance” composed of three countries. Two “alliances” – each with three nations’ robots – will face each other on opposing sides of the game field during a three-minute robotic game. The game will be designed so that during these three-minute competitions, it will inevitably be the “alliance” whose three teams best collaborate together in using their three robots that wins. The intention is that, as coalitions form and reform throughout the competition, students on individual national teams come to appreciate the value of collaboration during the approximately six games to be played over the two days of game play by each national team. This characteristic of leadership is a much-needed skill for future world leaders.”