JAMAICA HIGH SCHOOL TEAM HEADS TO MEXICO CITY FOR FIRST GLOBAL OLYMPICS 2018
New York, NY – August 2, 2018. In approximately two weeks, a team of high school students with coaches and a chaperone in tow will be competing with their counterparts from over 100 countries at the FIRST Global Challenge (FGC) – www.first.global - at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. The team from Calabar, Immaculate, Jamaica College and Kingston College will arrive in Mexico City on 13th August.
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 53 member alumni associations in the 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.
Coached by veteran JC Old Boys, the coed team trains at the Robotics lab at Jamaica College. In the inaugural year last summer in Washington D.C., the team placed 43rd among over 160 teams. Coach Gavin Samuels is confident that the team will be equally successful this summer.
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 second 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, FIRSTGlobal inspires students to learn the skills they will need to make the discoveries their parents and grandparents would consider miracles, impossibilities, or just plain science fiction.
Reflecting on last year’s 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."