Calabar High School has won the 2020 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge for institutions in Jamaica.
The competition, which is open to high-school students between grades seven and 12, requires the participants to design, build, programme and operate robots and compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.
The victory for Calabar, which topped the 30 schools participating in two days of competition, culminating with the announcement on February 29, represents the institution’s first in a major robotics competition.
The team will now advance to the competition’s international round, which is scheduled for Texas in the United States of America (USA), in April.
“Calabar have set a great example for all young men, not just at Calabar but our young men in Jamaica.”— Terrelonge
The members include Captain and Student Engineer, Joel Tulloch; Student Public Relations Officer and Driver of the Robot, Jeremy Bonfield; Student Engineer, Rory Allen; Student Electrical Engineer, Raheem Ford; Student Programmer, David Lynch; Student Driver, Tyrique Murray; Student Engineer, Alex Hutchinson; and Student Engineer, Devein Peart.
One of the competition’s objectives is to help students develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and practise engineering principles while realising the value of hard work, innovation, and teamwork.
In addition to designing and building robots, the competition requires teams to raise funds, design and market their brand, and undertake community outreach to earn specific awards.
The victorious Calabar team received a rousing welcome and applause from Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, as well as students and teachers, as they entered the institution’s Chapel for the weekly devotional exercise.
Mr Terrelonge said he was elated to see the innovativeness being displayed by the boys, against the background of the onset of the technology-driven fourth industrial revolution.
“We are very proud of them. The students at Calabar have set a great example for all young men, not just at Calabar but our young men in Jamaica. Having won the Inspire Award, Calabar has shown that they have made great improvements in STEM,” he stated.
The State Minister noted that Calabar has “demonstrated the importance of becoming innovators of technology”.
“As a society, we must not only be consumers of technology, but we must now become innovators of technology. That is the future. That is how we are going to build a modern economy which has a base in technology in the fourth revolution,” he added.