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The Department of Youth within the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports has once again teamed up with STEMGuyana to prepare youth robotics teams from across the country for global competition. For the first time in Guyana’s history 77 students from 6 regions of Guyana will participate on 14 teams to build outstanding robot solutions. On August 5th to August 8th, youths ages 8yrs to 18yrs, 38% girls, will participate in the annual IYRC robotics challenge, hosted annually in DCC, Daejeon, Korea, and held online & on the metaverse platform simultaneously. The competition will include more than 400 teams from more than 20 countries and 2022 will be Guyana’s third year of participation. This year organizers have boasted the proud achievement of preparing Guyana’s most diverse team both in terms of gender and geography. Participating teams were recruited from a call to the general public, participants from STEMGuyana’s clubs and camps, participants from the national Learning Pod program and the Department of Youth’s robotics program for youths.
This year, students are required to work on teams of up to 5 students to build a robot solution to a problem identified in their homes, communities, region, country or the world. Robots are built using any number of parts from any combination of MRT-robot kits. Kits are sold in GTT offices (Brickdam & Giftland Mall). “This sort of challenge requires youths, as young as 8 years old to follow the Engineering Design Process to research, ideate, design, build and test their solutions as they navigate constraints and overcome project challenges. Students also hone their ‘soft skills’ as they are required to communicate, solve problems and resolve conflicts within their respective groups. Teams are also required to create video presentations of their robots and submit those videos for global evaluation”, stated STEMGuyana’s Director Karen Abrams.
Past teams have won gold, silver and bronze for Guyana and it is reported that the young participants are excited and enthusiastic about their prospects this year. Teams from Belle Vue Village, Berbice, Lima Sands, Essequibo Coast, Mainstay Lake, Essequino, Byderab0 Road,Bartica, Port Kaituma, Parika, Wismar, Linden, Enterprise, Queenstown, Essequibo, West Canje, and Georgetown will represent Guyana. The diversity of participants reflect the effectiveness of STEMGuyana partnerships supported national capacity building mission and the funding support of the IDB, Tullow Oil, the Department of Youth and the Guyana Diaspora.
STEMGuyana is also working to prepare the country’s senior robotics team for Guyana’s 6th year of participation in the FGC robotics challenge in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2022. In a solicited comment, STEMGuyana Director of Marketing & Development, Caleb Christian reinforced the importance of such national programs because, “…these programs serve to identify, inspire and educate the next generation of our nation’s leaders of industry, particularly in STEM fields. We therefore believe it is important to ensure that we provide access to these opportunities to all students who have the interest in STEM, regardless of socio-economic status, gender and ethnicity. To find out more about STEMGuyana programs, or to monitor the progress of these young engineers, follow @STEMGuyana on facebook and instagram.