How Team Guyana Robotics Inspired Requests For 100 Technology Clubs Across Guyana
Last week, STEMGuyana leaders instituted a rule that no longer were their young people allowed to work on the competition robot overnight at the team’s clubhouse. Too often this year, team members have been so determined to solve problems, so engaged in the process, so absorbed by the mission that they scarcely notice the time until well past midnight but such has been the commitment and contribution of this team.
Team Guyana is represented by more than the ten young people who will travel. There is another support team of young people who frequently visit the club, who offer ideas, who are inspired by the process and we must acknowledge them as well.
But while all of these young people work hard and have done an amazing job of creating an outstanding competition robot, STEMGuyana leaders wanted to be sure that the confidence, the knowledge, the exposure gained did not just remain with these national representatives. Right from the beginning STEMGuyana leaders wanted to ensure that the program not remain exclusive, and that exposure to robotics was diffused throughout Guyana so that any child in Guyana who was interested, had the opportunity to engage with the technology.
The leadership team acknowledged that the undertaking was ambitious and so once the decision was made to engage and excite students through a national robotics league pilot program, they partnered with The Office Of The First Lady, GTT, Department of Climate Change, members of the Platinum Diaspora program and the Ministry Of Education NCERD to craft a plan for a national pilot program which would see 18 teams engage in robot building and programming and Scratch coding competition across 5 regions of Guyana.
The program was an astounding success and has led to the creation of an ambitious plan to engage more than 100 technology clubs across all regions of Guyana in the 2019 upcoming league competition.
Such an ambitious plan would not be possible without sponsors and partners like First Lady, Sandra Granger, GTT’s CEO Justin Nedd, Minister Cathy Hughes, Ministry of Education, Department of Youth, Department of Sports, the Diaspora and many others who have contributed significantly to make the national expansion possible.
And so, Team Guyana is important, not only because her members will represent Guyana at an event where every single country in the world will participate, but also because they inspire young people across the country to engage with technology in a way that will encourage them to strengthen their Maths, critical thinking, and problem solving talents while developing critical soft skills like working in groups, like conflict resolution, coordination, communication–all critical skills needed for the new world in which they will have to compete.
STEMGuyana leaders implore all Guyanese to embrace Team Guyana because their mission as ambassadors for critical national change will affect every child interested in technology in every community of Guyana if the implementation is effective.
Indeed this ambitious plan will take a village to execute, so STEMGuyana is looking to partner with churches, community groups, local government organizations, and any interested government agencies to work to make this mission possible. GTT has signed on and has contributed significantly to this mission, but more investment from the private sector of Guyana will be necessary.
To date, STEMGuyana has been contacted by more than 100 organizations representing schools, churches, community groups and interested individuals, all signing up to be trained as STEM club coaches in the upcoming robot building and programming league. “We also hope to work with the Ministry Of Public Telecommunications to make the hubs available to those clubs without facilities”, noted co-founder Ima Christian.
If the STEMGuyana’s mission was to inspire, then that mission has been accomplished. After the competition in Mexico, the more difficult part of the implementation will begin; to rollout robotics, Maths, Scratch coding and Rasberry PI technologies to young people in more than 100 clubs across every region of Guyana. STEMGuyana is looking for partners to make this happen. “it takes a village…”