Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Jamaica team mines gold at Robotics Olympics in Singapore

Published:Tuesday | October 10, 2023 | 9:49 AM
Contributed photo.

Jamaica's team won gold at the Robotics Olympics in Singapore.

The team topped the competition, held from October 7-10, to win the Kathrine Johnson Award for engineering documentation.

The award is named after African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson, dubbed the human computer, who helped to calculate aeronautics that helped guide the return of astronauts John Glen and Alan Shepard to Earth from space.

The award is given to the team that best demonstrates the journey they took in building their robot.

The team was captained by Johnathan Smith from Campion College and included Shawn-Michael Ferguson, also from Campion College, Duncan Stanley from Wolmer's Boys' School, Glenmuir High School's Terrance Grant, Kimmi Chan from Hillel Academy, and Taeija-Lee Hall-Watts from The American International School in Kingston (AISK).

They are accompanied by two coaches and two chaperones.

The Robotics team was sponsored by the United States-based non-profit organisation Union of Jamaica Alumni Association (UJAA).

The theme for this year's Olympics is Hydrogen-based Energy Technologies.

The Olympics are held annually with participation from some 160 countries.

UJAA has been undertaking sending teams to the Robotic Olympics since 2011.

Last year, the Jamaica Team won the silver medal in the Albert Einstein Award category for FIRST Global International Excellence, while UJAA won the Al-Khwarizmi Award for Outstanding Supporter.

The UJAA has been the primary sponsor since the FIRST Global Challenge (FGC) began in 2017.

The association says the programme provides students with the expertise and exposure to a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not only allows them to engage with students from across the globe but combines their accomplishment with encouragement and pride as true ambassadors of Jamaica for Jamaicans globally.

“Everyone agrees that STEM education is the future and the robotic competition is one way of exposing Jamaican students to technological developments taking place,” said president Donovan Wilson.

He said that it is paramount that Jamaican students are exposed to robotics if they are to succeed in the future.

- Lester Hinds

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