― 60 teams gearing up to participate

― Guyana to participate in August International Youth Robot Competition

Sixty (60) teams are gearing up to participate in Guyana’s first Nationals Robotics Competition in May of this year. The National Competition serves as a pre-qualifier to determine who will be representing Guyana at the International Youth Robot Competition which will be held in in Korea in August of this year.

Co-founder of STEMGuyana, Karen Abrams explained that Guyana’s National team would comprise talented members from across the country and not necessarily those who would have won the National Competition. Additionally, Abrams hopes to have at least five participants for each of the following age categories, 7-11, 12-14 and the open category which has no age limit.news 20190429 2

With regards to the National Competition, STEMGuyana is looking to get at least one team from each administrative region participating in the pre-qualifier competition. Abrams noted that only last week a team from Lethem voiced their desire to be a part of the competition. Additionally, she said the STEMGuyana Team is planning a visit to Mabaruma intending to establish a team from the area that would be willing to participate in the competition in May.

Abrams said that the objective of the competition is not to have the participants be “perfect” robot builders, but rather, this phenomenal event should serve as a challenge to the youth so that they may learn and strengthen their skills, work together, think critically and practice conflict resolution strategies.news 20190429 1

“Personally, we are more concerned with the development of the character of these young people.”

STEMGuyana is deeply involved in training the youth along the technology path because they believe that “talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not”. Abrams noted that they target schools that would not usually get an opportunity to participate in such activities as STEM training.

While STEMGuyana has a vision, there is some difficulty in making it a reality, and according to Abrams, that challenge lies in “being able to afford the equipment” needed to run the programme. To overcome this difficulty, she explained that contact with was made with Minister Hughes who jumped at the opportunity to make a good investment in the future of Guyana.

During a visit to St. Pius Primary School on Wednesday, Minister Hughes commented that the robotics clubs in schools are as a result of the collaboration among STEM Guyana, Ministry of Public Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, and the Department of Youth.

Through ICT hubs that the government has established around Guyana, STEM Guyana can offer training to the youth in and out of school. The training is in programmes such as website building, robotics and gaming and it is free of cost.