Sun | Feb 5, 2023

York Castle High takes home first prize in robotics competition

Published:Wednesday | December 7, 2022 | 12:05 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer
Evergo President and CEO Wayne McKenzie (left), poses with (from second left), first-place winners Matthew Francis, Daniel Rose, Renardo Pine, Sohan Mirpuri and coach Robina Reid of York Castle High School.
Evergo President and CEO Wayne McKenzie (left), poses with (from second left), first-place winners Matthew Francis, Daniel Rose, Renardo Pine, Sohan Mirpuri and coach Robina Reid of York Castle High School.

After failing in their attempt to place in the top three teams at last year’s staging of Evergo Jamaica’s secondary schools’ robotics competition hosted at its head office – West Kingston Power Partners, York Castle High School returned highly motivated to bring home the first-place cash prize.

Each team consisting of five members, inclusive of a coach, competed for a $125,000 prize. Second and third place winners received $75,000 and $50,000, respectively.

The competition focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education and challenged the students on the fundamentals of robotics to include programming, control, and design.

The teams were charged to construct and programme a battery-operated robot to complete an underwater obstacle course.

Coach Robina Reid told The Gleaner that they were determined to perform to their highest potential despite the difficulties they encountered, such as having to test the robot in the same pool as the five other schools who were also competing.

York Castle managed to dethrone last year’s champions, Jamaica College, who came in second place with Calabar High School copping third.

Other schools that competed were St George’s College, Immaculate Conception and Tarrant high schools.

“STEM education is the cornerstone of what we do here at Evergo. We are doing our part to ensure that we offer students the avenues to expand their interest and knowledge in robotics and are equipped with the skills necessary to navigate the working world,” said Wayne McKenzie, chief executive officer.

Reid, who teaches physics and integrated science, said that the school’s robotics club, which she founded three years ago, has made significant strides.

The institution has competed on the international stage where they represented Jamaica at the First Tech Challenge competition held in Texas earlier this year and competed against 180 schools.

“It was a great experience for them. There’s a lot that they would have learnt, a lot that they are planning to apply this year,” she said, despite them not placing higher in that competition.

asha.wilks@gleanerjm.com