Five Nigerian students drawn from secondary schools across the country have been selected to represent Nigeria at the next First Global Robotics Olympics in Dubai this October. The students; Kosi Ugoji, Isaac Ibidun, Gbemileke Ogunrayewa, Sonia Bendrewere and Toluwaniyin Ojo-Osagie, were selected from a try-out session with over 50 secondary schools in attendance.
This year’s theme ‘Ocean Opportunity’ draws attention to the critical issue of ocean pollution to educate everyone on the need to take action to preserve oceans and wildlife. The theme promotes collaboration and cooperation among teams, to solve some of the world greatest problems. Each team will be required to build a robot that will join forces with other robots from other teams to take out pollution from the ocean.
Managing Director, Aramex Nigeria and Co-sponsor of the First Global Olympics, Faisal Jarmakani, said the platform will catalyse the use of technology in solving Nigeria’s problems and some of the world’s greatest challenges.
According to him, the decision to co-sponsor the project with his brother, Omar Jarmakani, was based on the need to encourage Nigerian youth to embrace technology and robotics.
Describing the opportunity as “life changing” Jarmakani said this is the third consecutive year they are sponsoring Team Nigeria and have seen remarkable outcomes in the lives of the students and champions.He added that majority of the students have received scholarship opportunities to top universities in Nigeria and abroad. “We believe they will use the knowledge acquired to shift the needle on economic technological advancement,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Roboglobal Educational Consulting, and National Coordinator of the programme, Mrs. Remi Willoughby, called on structural engineers to assist in training the students.
“Whether we join the bandwagon or not, the train is moving. This is a world of data. We need sponsors that will give out students the platform to thrive. By guiding these children to develop their skills to be critical thinkers and problem solvers, Africa and indeed Nigeria, will learn to solve its own problems. This is the only way we can compete evenly in a technology-driven world,” she added.
Pending when the competition will commence in October, selected students will be taught the rudiments of robot design through tutorials in maths, physics and engineering including programming especially using Java, by competent instructors.Nigeria placed 25th of the 163 teams from 157 countries, and 3rd from the 41 African countries in attendance at the first-ever First Global Olympics in Washington DC, USA in 2017.
FIRST Global Challenge provides the framework for an Olympics-style robotics event that drives home the importance of obtaining the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills needed by future leaders to overcome the greatest challenges facing the world.