EDUCATION IS EMPOWERMENT, ONLY THE EDUCATED ARE FREE
JAMAICA HIGH SCHOOL TEAM JOINS OVER 150 COUNTRIES IN DUBAI FOR
FIRST GLOBAL OLYMPICS 2019
New York, NY – October 1, 2019. In approximately (2½) two and a half weeks, Jamaica will send their National Team Jamaica Robotics of high school students, coaches and a chaperone to the third staging of the FIRST Global Challenge 2019. Once again, Jamaica’s team will compete with over 150 other teams from across the world in Dubai from October 24th to 27th at the Coca Cola Arena. The team from Alpha, Immaculate, Jamaica College, St. George’s College and St. Jago will arrive in Dubai on 21st October.
The participation of Team Jamaica Robotics is a project that the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA), Inc. (UJAA) has adopted, sponsoring in partnership with the 54 member associations in the northeast USA. UJAA is responsible for the organization, coordination, project management, and interfacing with FIRST Global. Additionally, Jamaica’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has provided substantial resources to assist with travel and housing. This support allowed for an additional (3) three students from Calabar, Immaculate and St. Jago to travel as volunteer mentors.
Coached by veteran JC Old Boys, the coed team trains at the Robotics lab at Jamaica College. In the inaugural year 2017 in Washington D.C., the team placed 45th among over 160 teams and gave an outstanding performance in Mexico City last year to finish 15th among over 150 teams, garnering a couple of awards along the way. Coaches Gavin Samuels and Paul Pounall are confident that the team will be equally successful this year.
The tournament draws on the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by National Academies of Engineering in the USA, the UK, and China. The game for the 2019 FIRSTGlobal Challenge -- Ocean Opportunities! Teams will compete and cooperate to clean the ocean of pollutants via processors.
FIRST Global Challenge is an annual international robotics challenge to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among the more than two billion youth across the world. In its third year, FIRSTGlobal has once again invited one team from every nation to participate in an event that builds bridges between high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs. By bringing these future STEM leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition that drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of STEM education
Reflecting on this global competition, UJAA President, Lesleyann Samuel, an engineer herself, shares the added benefit of this competition: “Aside from not knowing each other, they had language and cultural challenges, and in order to win, the students found ways to collaborate and cooperate for the greater good, connecting technology with terra firma. This experience can be life-changing, as we expose our children not only to the technical aspects of the challenge," she said, "but also to the realities of what it takes to solve our global challenges. We cannot teach this in a classroom."