A group of 16 young Guyanese will represent the country at the first global robotics competition, where they are expected to participate in various challenges that will require the use of robotics to solve real-world problems.
The team has been selected by local youth technology organisation, STEM Guyana and they will participate in the virtual challenge that runs for 12 weeks, starting from June 27. This year, the competition is being held under the theme: “Discover and Recover”.
The 16 young Guyanese who will be representing the country at this competition are: Ariel Taylor, Lazaro Fraser, Ameena Chhatarprasad, Manoj Lachhman, Daniel McAlmont, Lateisha McArthur, Javon Azore, T’Sehai Holder, Kyle Dos Santos, Raah Russel, Domanech Wills, Akhilesh Kishun, Ezra Minty, Emeleo Persaud, Jedaiah Gibson and Xaria Holder.
The team will also benefit from technical mentoring from five individuals, namely: Michael Sampson, Daniel Eastman, Dominic Budhan, Shamar Stewart and Sahief Poese. The team’s coach is Arrianna Mahase, who served as a participant, mentor and coach in previous competitions.
Mahase, in an invited comment to the News Room, said there were a series of pre-challenges used to determine the members of the team. A total of 58 students between the ages of 14 to 18 from different regions across Guyana tried out for the team before the final 16 were selected.
“This year we have a very diverse and talented team. We were able to have 16 students instead of just five like previous years,” Mahase said, adding: “There are also five girls on the team which I’m really happy about.”
The young woman also explained that there are a number of components to this year’s challenge. One particularly important component will be the requirement of the teams to tackle a problem faced by their country.
The coach said that this year’s team selected the environment as the category they will be exploring.
“I think we will certainly make a mark this year because we have students from different age groups as young as 14 and each of them brings their own host of skills to the table ranging from social media content creation to programming to 3D modeling to engineering,” the team coach highlighted.
This year, more than 160 nations around the world participated in the competition. Guyana has successfully participated in this competition over the past few years. In 2017, the first year Guyanese youth participated in the competition, Guyana placed 10th overall at the end of the competition after securing the top spot at the end of the first day.
Now that Guyana is aiming to repeat its successes, Mahase said that the team is seeking sponsors for food, t-shirts and resources for their challenge. Importantly, she drew attention to the fact that the team is triple its usual size this year.