Jamaica College,today announced the establishment of a Robotics Program and its entry in the premier Robotics Competition in the US for high school students: the FIRST Competition. The Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York, Inc will partner JC in the project and is planning the creation of a fully outfitted Robotics Lab at JC and practical applications of robotics adopted in JC science education.
The project marks the historic first entry of a Caribbean high school in the Robotics field and its organizers hope to pave the way for the popularization of artificial intelligence technology in Jamaica and the region.
With the rapid adoption of technology widely recognized as vital to Jamaica’s progress, Jamaica College seeks to use Robotics to motivate students to consider careers in engineering and science.
Studies indicate that students participating in the US FIRST Robotics Competition, in comparison with their peer group, are:
- More than 3 times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
- Significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree.
- More than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology.
- Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to establish our Robotics Program and participate in the prestigious FIRST competition” said Ruel Reid, Principal of Jamaica College. He concluded, “The entire science program at JC will benefit from the project. Staff and students alike are very appreciative and excited.”
The project will be formally launched at a press reception to be held at Jamaica College January 4, 2010. Media, JC stakeholders and members of the academic community will be able to get details of the program and how it is intended to transform science education at JC with practical applications in computer software and hardware development, engineering, mathematics and general problem solving techniques.
Dr David Levermore, a research engineer and JC alumnus, heads the project technical team and will be present at the media launch. According to Dr Levermore, “The experience will not only be challenging and exciting, but the students will develop greater self-confidence, technical knowledge and valuable teamwork as well as leadership skills.”
JCOBA is working closely with the FIRST Robotics organization to make the project a success. Ana Martinez, FIRST Regional Coordinator said, “FIRST welcomes the entry of JC in our 2010 competition. We applaud the pioneering efforts of Jamaica College and hope to see more participation from Jamaican and Caribbean schools in the future.”