STEMGuyana received a resounding welcome from First Lady Sandra Granger, when they arrived at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, on July 19, after successfully placing 10th at First Global Challenge — a robotics event held in Washington D.C., last week.
First Lady Sandra Granger, who was instrumental in introducing the STEM initiative to Guyana, said that she was overjoyed at the performance of the team, since robotics is fairly new to Guyana.
Mrs. Granger highlighted that the feat by the Stem team demonstrates what can be achieved by the young minds of Guyana, once opportunities are presented and all the necessary investments made, according to the Guyana Chronicle.
She added that her main focus is to ensure that every child across Guyana is involved in robotics.
The Guyanese Diaspora, also praised f the high school students, lighting up social media with congratulatory messages and well wishes to the youths, who excelled against 164 other nations during their first attempt at the competition after being introduced to robotics just one year ago.
Headed by team captain, Ryan Benschop, Anthony Frank, Arianna Mahase, Christopher Nelson, Sahief Poese, Vevekeanand Ramnarace, Team Manager Farnaz Baksh, and Coach Ricky Chan, made Guyana proud. Public Relations Officer Horace Moseley gave the students a big boost and kept Guyanese apprised of their performance.
The students, who worked diligently to perfect their model, in just four month, aced their performance to place first, in the first round of competition, but dropped to 10th after they were faced with stiff competition. They never-the-less prevailed to accomplish an amazing feat.
Twenty-two-year-old Farnaz Baksh, team manager and one of the two lone females on the team, said that part of the team’s success came from observing their environment.
She explained that during preparation for the competition they had experienced some difficulties, which were solved from engineering techniques used in Guyana for drainage and irrigation.
During the competition, the robot was required to battle against opponents in the competition’s simulation exercise, named ‘H2O Flow.
The 10th place finish placed the students squarely on the world stage as a team to be reckoned with in 2018 when the competition is held in Mexico City.
The First Global Challenge is a robotics competition with a goal of increasing the knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), so that students become the next generation of scientific leaders who work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Community activist, Mark Anthony Benschop who chaperoned the students thanked US State Senator, Roxanne J. Persaud, stating that the lawmaker welcomed the students at JFK airport and kept in constant contact about their progress.
He added that Congresswoman Yvette Clarke sent a congratulatory message to the team and thanked DCM of the Guyana Embassy in Washington DC, and other officials, Bonita Montaque and members of her organization for the great celebration around NYC, for the students, and many others.