Robotics in Jamaica: FIRST® Tech Challenge Jamaica National Robotics Championship

Kingston, Jamaica – FIRST® Tech Challenge Jamaica (FTC Jamaica) will host its inauguralFIRST® Tech Challenge National Robotics Championships from March 8 to 9, 2019 at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.

The US-based not-for-profit organisation, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is designed to provide youth the opportunity to innovate programs that will eventually motivate them to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and math, all whilst boosting their self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

Chairman of the Advisory Board of FTC Jamaica, Edward “Teddy” Alexander, is leading the initiative in Jamaica to provide new and exciting career opportunities for our youth. “Our focus tends to be on traditional careers” Alexander expressed. “There is an incredible amount of talent in this country, our children love to use technology, so it’s essential that we provide them the opportunity to hone these skills and expose them to new, technology-based opportunities in the STEM area.”

The competing teams include teens ages 12 to 18 hailing from 18 high schools across the island and the Caribbean. Following a sports business model, teams (7+ members) design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a floor game. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas.

The winning FTC Jamaica team will qualify to compete in the FIRST® Tech Challenge World Championships to be held in Houston, Texas from April 17 to 20, 2019. There, they will vie for the prestigious Inspire Award which would provide opportunities to secure scholarships from local and international universities.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information committed $5 million to acquire robotics kits for the schools to support the tournament. Other major sponsors are the NCB Foundation, The Phillip and Christine Gore Family Foundation, GK General Insurance, Digicel, GraceKennedy, tTech Limited, Island Car Rental, the Liguanea Club, Supreme Systems Jamaica, and Janus Marketing.

People are invited to attend the Championships and support the youth. Admission is free!

Image Courtesy: JC Robotics FTC