Students to travel to Dubai for robot competition

The Cayman Islands will send 11 students to Dubai to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge robotics event from 24‑27 Oct.

The Cayman Islands National Robotics Team, which was formed from the field of competitors at the recent Rover Ruckus competition includes Caylem Hill and Jack McGregor of Cayman International School, Xaria Deosaran and Adrian Phillips-Hernáez of Cayman Prep and High School, Kieran Finch and Nilakni Jayasekera of St. Ignatius Catholic School, Craig Maitland and Edmund Pileta of Clifton Hunter High School, Pierce Serrant of Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, Oscar Martinez of Grace Christian Academy, and John Gray High School’s Samuel White.

Dart Senior Manager of Education Programmes Glenda McTaggart says the nominated students went through a rigorous selection process.

“Nominees were evaluated for their commitment to their school’s robotics programme and the level of teamwork, collaboration, sportsmanship and leadership demonstrated during their participation in the ‘Rover Ruckus’ tournament,” McTaggart said, adding that the shortlisted nominees were then interviewed by a panel consisting of two science teachers and two sponsors’ representatives.

“The students chosen to represent Cayman internationally are passionate about STEM and they convinced the selection committee that they will make the most of this opportunity to work as a team to build an amazing robot and represent their country on the world’s stage,” McTaggart said.

FIRST robotics programming was officially introduced to the Cayman Islands earlier this year through a Dart partnership with Aureum Re, Caribbean Utilities Company, Digicel, and Health City Cayman.

Sometimes called the Olympics of robotics, the challenge is themed around the 14 grand challenges of engineering identified by the National Academy of Engineering, and empowers young people to use STEM to solve global problems like access to clean water and sustainable energy resources.

Under the theme ‘Ocean Opportunities,’ teams will score points by removing 30 micro pollutants and 50 macro pollutants, represented by small and large foam balls, from the playing field and placing them in targeted areas.

Those interested can follow Minds Inspired on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MindsInspiredCayman.