“Laura”, the robot created by five Honduran students and won a global robotics competition

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(Translated from Spanish)

After leaving their hometown behind in Camasca, Intibucá, and embarking on a long journey of thousands of kilometers to Dubai to participate in the FIRST Global Challenge global competition, five students of the Santo Tomás de Aquino Departmental Institute did not imagine that they would touch the glory with their robot “Laura.”

Dulce María Díaz, Alex Reyes, Jair Games, Elí Alfredo Cardona and Julián Adolfo Meza, aged between 15 and 18, are students of the first and second years of high school in Humanities, Computer Science and Accounting who achieved the first place in Latin America in The global robotics competition.

Moments in which the Honduran team demonstrated the abilities of its robot “Laura”.

In addition, the group, accompanied by four adult advisors, received second place as the best history and team career and 15th in the world rankings by competing with Laura, designed for cleaning the oceans through the elimination of micro and macro contaminants.

THE PRESS moved to the municipality of Camasca to learn about the experience and how they prepared for the world event.

The institute is in the El Campo neighborhood, in the municipality of Camasca, south of Intibucá.

Henglyns Herderson Lemus, a computer teacher and instructor of participating students, said Ocean Opportunities was the main theme of the world event in the United Arab Emirates, where 200 teams from 175 countries arrived.

“My experience was very great, since together with the students we worked as a team to achieve the objective. We had a lot of discipline and concentration, motivating young people not to do it just for competing. The mentality transmitted to them was that of a winner, of overcoming any obstacle, ”he said.

The team traveled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The teacher said that the project started from February. “We held meetings to select students seeing their potential and also their academic history. Seeing their qualifications to see if they were responsible, a pre-selection was made. ”

The purpose of “Laura” is to decontaminate the ocean. It consists of three sections, the first component sucks balls, the other one lifts them and the third element is a tank and a boat called a processor.

The teacher said that in the school they do not have the Robotics career, but the Computer Science. “We learned everything from scratch, we had no experience of anything, but as we learned we developed the robot.”

Dulce María Díaz (16 years old), a second year high school student in Computer Science, recalled that she got involved in the project to learn, since she had no knowledge in robotics. Remembering the experience in Dubai, he said: “It was very nice because we shared with people from other countries and that led us to find solutions to the problems that are occurring worldwide. For these projects to continue they must have the support of all. ”

Alex Reyes, also 16, recognized that he always had the aspiration to be part of the team and in the end he was selected from among other students.

Reyes is raised by his grandmother and financially supported by some uncles. “I learned to work as a team, to develop many values; It was something extremely important for my life. I tell young people to deliver the best of themselves, to focus on the goal they want to achieve and never pay attention to comments that seek to harm them, ”he recommended.

Emilia Lemus, director of the institute, thanked God for the opportunity she gave her students to compete with industrialized and economically powerful countries and the international organization Shoulder to Shoulder for their financial support.

“I feel very good to see how young people in spite of the places where they live, so small and so remote, have the ability to develop in different skills and abilities in technology, mathematics, engineering and programming, young people who come from low-income families economic resources, ”he added.

In 2017, the team of students of Santos Tomás de Aquino participated in the first world robotics competition in Washington, USA, with a robot whose function was to purify water, obtaining on that occasion the 40th position of 160 participating countries.

In the second robotics competition worldwide in 2018, in Mexico City, students obtained the 16th place and the silver medal for their robot design.

By 2020, the students of Santo Tomás de Aquino expect the support of other public or private institutions to participate for the fourth time in the great world event.

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