By Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos – Lagos State Model College Meiran and Araromi Ilogbo Junior Secondary, Oke Afo on Saturday emerged champions of the 2017 World Robot Olympiad, Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2017 edition of the competition which took place at School Hall of British International School, Victoria Island, was sponsored by Arc light Foundation.
Arc Light Foundation is the exclusive partners of LEGO in Nigeria and LEGO Education in West Africa, and is the organiser of the World Robots Olympiad, an annual event that draws participants from across the world.
LEGO Education comes up with a yearly challenge for the kids on how they can solve some problems on their own using robots made from LEGO plastic models.
The LEGO coach gets the annual challenge on the website and breaks it down to simple tasks that the children can understand and give those directions on how to solve them.
The kids on their own then brainstorm on how to solve the problem from the previous knowledge of the task; they also build the robots to solve the challenge given to them.
The sponsors of the competition, Arc light Foundation is the foremost robot designers in Nigeria.
By virtue of their brilliant performance at the keenly contested competition which tasked their creative intellect, the winners will represent Nigeria at the World Robot Olympiad scheduled for Costa Rica.
The theme of this year’s robotic competition is “Robots for Sustainability’’.
The convener of the competition and Managing Director, Arc Light Foundation, Mrs Abisola Obasanya, told NAN that the World Robotic Olympiad (WRO) had helped to build the students’ confidence.
She added that the competition was primed to assist the students to compete with other children in the world and not left behind.
“Arc Light Foundation is out to build 21st century children and make them cutting edge sharp.
“We need generations of scientists that can impact positively on the society and that is why we are encouraging this young ones.
“We have been having good feedbacks from our efforts so far and within few years to come, we will reap the benefits.
“The project is work in progress, so we cannot be too hasty about getting sponsors, as times goes on, we will and everybody will be happy,’’ she said.
Mr Bayo Ibiyeye, Director, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, told NAN that the Lagos State government was passionate about promoting science and technology in the state.
Ibiyeye, however, urged the organisers of the event to create more awareness about the competition in order to attract more participants from the length and breadth of Nigeria.
In the same vein, Mrs Adebukola Iloanya, Head of school, Ace Doors Schools, said that robotic competition makes students critical thinkers.
Iloanya said that for students to be able to build a robot that would solve problems, they would need to be focused and precise.
“The children’s participation in the competition will help them to be problem solvers and precise.
“It helps the students to build a healthy competitive spirit.’’
Mrs Olabisi Ijimakinwa, Coach, Imperial Gate School, Lekki, said that the competition had exposed the students to the need for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The coach, whose school won the 2016 edition of the competition and subsequently represented the country in India, described the competition as a great exposure for the students.
“It was when I got there that I knew we had a whole lot of work to do,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the coach of one of the winners of the open competition, Akinola Ogbeyemi, said that it was challenging putting the winners together, adding that the winners gave their best.
“It is not easy getting them together because they are from different homes. I needed to get the consent of their parents and commitments of the students before we made it work.
“The winners are the ones who designed their projects and see to the implementation. I only gave them the guide and they are good at it.
“I am so surprised to win because this is the first time that everyone in my team is participating in the competition and it’s a pleasure wining,’’ he said.
Winners of the open competition, Olukoya Oluwatodimu and Loju, with Olurin Oluwalonimi, said that they were excited wining the coveted trophy in their categories.
Also winners of the senior category, Opoola Roberts from Lagos State Model College, Meiran, said: “I am happy to have won the trophy being my last attempt.
“I am very happy to win this competition at last because this will be my last time at the competition as I will be graduating to the upper class next session.
“My team emerged third place last year, but this year with a lot of determination, we are able to come first with the efforts of our tutors.’’
NAN also reports that other winners include EVS Solvers who emerged champions in the open competition, Robos Stomerz came second in the same category, while 125 Pound came third.
In the Senior Category, Lagos State Model College, Meiran, came first while Iwerekun Senior High School Lakowe, emerged second and Oke Afa Comprehensive College, Isolo, third.
For the junior category, Araromi Ilogbo Junior Secondary School, Oke Afo led the pack, while Caleb International School, Abijo, came second and Igbowu Junior Secondary School, third.
In the elementary division, Team Invincible came first, Team United second and Team 105 from Heritage Homes third.
NAN reports that the winners of this competition will represent the country in the WRO at Costa Rica from November 10 to 12. (NAN)