By Giwa SHILE
Three secondary school students are to represent Nigeria at the World Adolescent Robotic Competition in China this July.
The students – Tawakalitu Giwa, Oluwaseun Omotayo and Ayomide Adetunji are to flag Nigeria’s flag at the event organised by the China Association of Science and Technology.
The students – two females and a male from Lagos State schools – were part of the Team Nigeria to the FIRST Global Robotic Olympics in Washington DC in 2017.
The team was sponsored by Aramex and Doculand Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Aramex and Doculand Nigeria, Mr Faisal Jarmakani, announced the invitation at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.
He said they were selected based on their performances at the FIRST GRO at which Nigeria placed 25th out of 163 teams from 157 countries.
Nigeria also emerged third of the 41 African countries which participated.
According to Jarmakani, Nigeria and Gabon are the only African countries invited for World Adolescent Robotic Competition in China.
He said the competition scheduled to take place from July 20 to July 24 would be on “Water Problem”.
Jarmakani also announced that five students would represent Nigeria at the next edition of the annual FIRST GRO scheduled for Mexico from August 13 to Aug. 19.
He listed the students as Anjolaoluwa Olowo, Iroagachinachi Udodirim, Samuel Mbah, Tochukwu Anyigbo and Daberechi Onyeacholem.
“The 2018 challenge in Mexico will be on “Energy Impact”. Competitors will be expected to solve problems related to energy with the use of robotics,’’ he said.
The managing director said all the students were building the foundation blocks for a technology-advanced Nigeria.
“Without any doubts, we will soon join other countries of the world where science and technology have become the backbone of economic development.
“In the next few years, they will become global icons paving the way for other children to follow, if they keep getting the right support,” he said.
Jarmakani said that Aramex and Doculand Nig. would jointly sponsor the students for the Mexico competition with his brother, Mr Omar Jarmakani.
He said the sponsorship aimed at encouraging the youth to embrace technology.
Mrs Remi Willoughby, National Coordinator of the programme and Chief Executive Officer, Roboglobal Educational Consulting, said that Nigeria was gradually establishing itself in technology.
“Nigeria is slowly but gradually establishing herself on the map of technologically developed nations. This is an indication that progress is being made.
“We have the right talents to compete successfully on the global stage and move Nigeria to a technology advanced nation, but we need the right support and encouragement.
“We need to quickly address the evident deficit in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in our educational system,” Willoughby said.
TBI Africa reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had in April praised the efforts of Team Nigeria to the 2017 FIRST Global Robotic Olympics for outstanding performance.
Osinbajo made the commendation while receiving the team at the Aso Villa, Abuja.
It would be recalled that FIRST GRO is organised by the FIRST Global – a trade name for a nonprofit organisation, the International First Committee Association.
It inspires a passion for science and technology leadership and innovation, and promotes STEM education and careers for youth through Olympics-styled robotic competitions called the FIRST Global Challenge.