Despite COVID-19 restrictions…
Three of the seven teams that participated virtually in the international youth robotics competition held recently in Korea were awarded silver and bronze medals.
More than 540 students, comprising 182 teams from 29 countries, participated in the competition. This was the first year that junior teams (8yrs – 13yrs) were prepared for international competition.
The 2020 challenge, according to a Stem Guyana statement, required junior and senior teams to identify a challenge affecting their community and to create a robot solution to address the challenge.
Guyana’s team, Lunar, earned the silver medal in the junior category. The team created a sanitizing robot which uses UV lights to kill the COVID-19 virus on the surface of the equipment. The young team included Naliah Fordyce, Michael Blake and Tushaant Sanichara. Team Lunar was coached by STEM Guyana member, Immanual Meusa.
Bringing home the bronze medal in the junior category was team Conquerors. Team Conquerors designed and built a robot called the all terrain rescuer. The robot is able to navigate any weather condition to deliver food and medical supplies to a community. It also serves as an information robot which provides information about the Coronavirus to villagers. Team Conquerors include On Beaton, Lucas Simpson and Rashad Quinti. The team was coached by STEM Guyana member, Kenita Roberts.
In the senior category, Team Power Thinkers won the silver medal. The team included players Rajeshwar Meghbaran and Emelio Persaud and was coached by STEM Guyana members Stephanie Simon and Joshua Reece. The team created an automated mask distribution and sanitising robot.
The teams were prepared for global competition by the STEM Guyana organization which has a working robotics lab at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The current lab is sponsored by the Department of Youth and The Office of the Prime Minister, which ensure a secure location and internet connectivity for the work of the organization.
According to the Stem Guyana release, Guyana’s participation in the Korea competition was questionable because of the COVID crisis, financial constraints and the ongoing political challenges in the country. However, members of the diaspora, who were determined to ensure that the junior teams would have an opportunity to showcase their talents globally, sponsored the participation of all the 2020 teams.
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