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.
The organisers said the FIRST Global Challenge founded by philanthropic inventor, Dean Kamen, aimed to inspire a passion for science and technology leadership and innovation among youths globally.
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.
The Managing Director, Aramex Nigeria, Faisal Jarmakani, who is a co-sponsor of the First Global Olympics said, “Our continued sponsorship of the First Global competition is a testimonial of our belief in Nigeria and the Nigerian youth. As a nation with a growing youth population, this platform will further catalyse our potential to solve our own problems and some of the world’s greatest challenges using technology.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Roboglobal Educational Consulting and national coordinator of the programme, Mrs Remi Willoughby, said “In Africa, we need children that can think and collectively file solutions to their problems. By guiding these children to develop the skills to be critical thinkers and problem solvers, Africa and indeed Nigeria, will learn to solve its own problems by itself. This is the only way we can compete evenly in a technology-driven world.”
Jarmakani hinted that 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.
Pending when the competition will commence in October, the organisers said selected students would be taught the rudiments of robot design through tutorials in maths, physics and engineering including programming especially using Java, carried out by competent instructors.
Nigeria emerged 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, United States in 2017.