Nisti hands over robotic kit to Team Seychelles

A group of 10 students who will be representing Seychelles at the 2019 FIRST Global Robotic competition to be held in Dubai from October 24-27 have received a robot kit from the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation.

This was during a short presentation at the Blue Economy head office at the Oliaji Trade Centre in Victoria yesterday morning.

Each country will be designing one robot and will partner with two other countries during the competition. The Seychelles team has one and a half months to build their robot.

Team Seychelles comprises Jacob Isnard, Miguel Malbrook, Alissa Dogley, Jacqueline Andre, Jayant Gondariya from Anse Boileau secondary school, Christie Rath and Rohan Albert from Mont Fleuri and Anse Royale secondary respectively, Ronan Varsani and Mikhail Rudchenko from International School Seychelles and Carl Gedeon from Pointe Larue secondary. They are being mentored by Joseph Raj from the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (Nisti).

The students were chosen for their knowledge and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem).

Team Seychelles received its robot kit from the chief executive of Nisti, Xavier Estico.

He noted that it is important for us to provide students at this age with opportunities that will increase their knowledge of Stem so they can become the next generation of scientific leaders, who will be ready to tackle global challenges.

“The theme involves removing pollutants from the ocean and this is very important because it sensitises the younger generation about the adverse effects of ocean pollution,” he said.

“By bringing these future Stem leaders together, FIRST Global inspires students to learn the skills they will need to make the discoveries their parents and grandparents would consider miracles, impossible, or just plain science fiction,” added the chief executive.

Mr Estico also said that the country’s education system should bring back Stem in all the schools. Nisti is already aiming for science, technology and innovation clubs in each school.

FIRST Global, a non-profit organisation, that promotes Stem education and careers for youth through robotics competitions, organises an annual international robotics challenge to ignite a passion for Stem among the more than two billion youths across the world.

It brings these future Stem leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition that drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of Stem education.

This year’s FIRST Global Challenge also brings attention to a critical issue that will educate us to take action to preserve our oceans and wildlife. This year’s teams will learn about real-world challenges related to cleaning up the world’s oceans, the students have to design a multi-functional robot that will help in removing pollution from the ocean.

One of the students, Alissa Dogley, said: “I enjoy doing maths and this competition is a great opportunity for me. The competition will help us to learn how to communicate, cooperate, and work together using the tools of science and engineering to find solutions to the world’s grand challenges including water pollution.”

As for Mikhail Rudchenko, he noted that he is looking forward to take part in the competition as his programing abilities will come in handy.

The students will also be using the competition as an experience to see other scientific inventions that are not available in the country.

The team will leave for Dubai on October 23, with the hopes of ranking in amongst the top 20 worldwide.

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