FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Georgetown, Guyana – July 12th, 2017 — The six players and three adult mentors who will represent Guyana at the First Global Robotics Championship in Washington DC are today preparing to depart Guyana. The team met today at their National Sports Hall to crate their robot, receive their shirts and discuss last minute details regarding their journey. Team Guyana’s travel was supported by The Ministry Of Education which donated $2.5million GY and The Ministry of Public Telecommunications which donated $500k GY. Operational expenses were donated by Diaspora members, The Office of The First Lady and several private corporate donors. More than 160 countries including fifteen Caribbean countries and many developing countries will be represented at the global competition.
The competition encourages cooperation by grouping teams in several different alliances made up of three countries in each of three rounds of competition. Each team will have an opportunity to get to know and work closely with 6 other teams. Each team was challenged to build a robot which will gather [simulated] water particles, sort the contaminated from the clean water particles and then find a way to make the robot deposit those particles in specific locations. The robot also has to be programmed to pull itself up off the ground. Teams built their robots with no formal instruction, and limited experience using nuts, bolts, motors, sensors and other parts provided by Vex Robotics.
Team Guyana includes 6 students and 3 mentors. The students are Vevekeanand Ramnarace, Ryan Benschop, Christopher Nelson, Anthony Frank, Arrianna Mahase and Sahief Poese. The mentors are coach Ricky Chan; team manager Farnaz Baksh; and PR Specialist Horace Mosley.
A little about the students:
Vevekeanand attended Bishops High School, and teaches Lego Mindstorm to the 4th form students of Bishops High School. After volunteering with STEMGuyana in 2016, he then joined the team in May 2017. Not normally a social person, being on a team where interacting with many people on a daily basis has allowed him to overcome any social issues he may have faced.
Anthony was a student of Diamond Secondary School and took part in the STEMGuyana camp last year in 2016,
after which he joined the team in April 2017. He first became interested in robotics, after developing an understanding for how much programming can influence a robot. Anthony would like to later go on to develop programming applications for smartphones.
A past student of Saints Stanislaus College, Arrianna, joined the team in April of 2017. Being a Computer Science student at the University of Guyana, she sees robotics as the next step for her, since she dreams of becoming a Robotics Engineer. Building a robot was challenging at first, having no prior experience but she believes getting involved was definitely worth it.
Sahief joined the team in April 2017, and attends the University of Guyana, where he is a member of the robotics club. Obstacles he believes the team faced include getting to know the components of the kit and how each part works with the other. Always having a love for motors and anything with wheels, he was encouraged to join the robotics team. In the future he would like to launch a motor car racing group in Guyana.
A student of The Government Technical Institute, Christopher joined Team Guyana in April 2017. He views the people on the team as those who put their all into the project and learn from each other as well. Despite not knowing much about robotics, upon being introduced to it, he ultimately developed a love for it. He is currently an Electrical Engineering student, and would like to go further into engineering while at the same time furthering his interests in the Arts.
Ryan graduated from Queens College and is currently studying at School of the Nations. In in view, everyone on the team is given the opportunity to put forth ideas and be creative, and everyone on the team supports one another despite any differences in opinion. He also believes that while working on a team has its challenges, it unifies the group and teaches them skills such as problem solving and the benefit of hard work. For Ryan, this robotics competition represents an opportunity for Guyana to develop the technological sector and a way to encourage young people to think. His goal is to become a digital entrepreneur, and further his interests in business and finance.
Travelling Team mentors:
Farnaz Baksh is Manager and Adult Mentor for Team Guyana Robotics.Â She is a first year Computer Science Student at the University of Guyana and is the founder of the U.G. Robotics and TechED Rev Clubs (Technology Education Revolution).
Farnaz’s interest in robotics led her to complete a training course in Lego Mindstorm EV3 building and programming which made her eligible for a role of trainer during the STEMGuyana Summer camp of 2016. Farnaz proved herself to be so outstanding, not only in quickly learning but also in engaging in several outreach programs to bring technology to underrepresented communities in Guyana, that she was invited to be the Manager of Team Guyana Robotics.
Farnaz also serves as a member of Girls in Computing club and helps to create and manage STEM projects for each club, she also works to secure funding for projects, and connects and promotes Science & Technology not only for university students but students of all ages in Guyana.
In her role as Manager for Team Guyana Robotics, Farnaz manages the administration of the documention process and she ensures that our students have the resources they need to keep them focused and dedicated to the team’s mission.
Ricky Chan is the coach of the Team Guyana Robotics group. He is a Systems Development Officer with the Ministry of the Presidency
Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services General Register Office. He holds degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Ciego de Avila in Havana, Cuba. Ricky has been working with a team from IOM [International Organization for Migrations) to digitize the births, deaths and marriage records of citizens of Guyana.
Ricky’s interest in robotics led him to complete a training course in Lego Mindstorm EV3 building and programming which made him eligible for a role of trainer during the STEMGuyana Summer camp of 2016.Â Ricky proved himself to be so outstanding that he was invited to be the coach of Team Guyana Robotics.Â Ricky’s experience working with youth, extends beyond robotics as he also teaches steel band music to the youth group of his church, Holy Spirit R.C. Church and to the youths of the Brickdam Police Station Youth Club every Saturday morning.
Ricky is a critical member of Team Guyana and is outstanding at motivating, training the young team. He also plays a key role in robot design, strategic planning and was a core member of the team that built Team Guyana’s practice field.
Horace Mosley is one of Team Guyana’s adult mentor and will focus on public relations during the First Global robot challenge in Washington, DC. Mr Moseley is a young representative from the village of Buxton in Guyana. Buxton is a small village with a rich history where descendants of enslaved Africans purchased the village from former slaveholders and created a thriving and proud citizenry.
Horace attended STEMGuyana’s summer robot building and programming camp, which was held during the summer of 2016 and was also trained and certified at a Lego Mindstorm coach.Â He then took that knowledge back to his village and have since been teaching Lego building and programming to young students in his village.
Horace is an ardent student of music and plays several instruments in various community churches each Sunday. He is also member of his village’s award winning steel band group and has played at several venues throughout Guyana, the Caribbean and the United States.
The team was supported by a local team of volunteers which included members Mr Colin Sawh, Ms Jeannette Frank, Mr David Saul, Ms Stephanie Simon, Mr Ryon Persaud, Ms Leigh-Riane Amsterdam and many others.
For More Information – Media Contact
US – Karen Abrams
2017 FIRST Global Challenge
July 16-18, 2017 at DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C.
1776 D St NW, Washington, DC 20006