The Jamaica College (JC) Robotics Team took home the prestigious and highly coveted Judges Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Competition World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.
The only team from the English-speaking Caribbean, JC placed 26th out of 128 teams representing countries including the United States, Singapore, Spain, China, India, Mexico, Russia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
“I am extremely happy that all the time, resources and energy we placed into the programme is finally paying off and being recognized,” said, Gavin Samuels, JC Head Boy and President of the Robotics Club.
In an email to the team sponsors, he thanked them saying “The Robotics Team landed in Jamaica yesterday (April 30) afternoon victorious yet again, this time we won the JUDGES AWARD. None of this could have been possible without your assistance, whether through motivation or finances.”
“The achievements of the JC team augers well for Jamaica’s future economic growth and development which will be dependent on improved competitiveness via innovation and greater competencies in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. said Denise Williams, executive director of corporate communications for Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operator of the Flow brand. “We are immensely proud of the team’s accomplishments.”
The team’s participation in the World Championships was enabled by a $200,000 sponsorship from Flow in addition to contributions from other corporate donors, JC alumni and other individuals.
The Judges Award is one of the top honors of the First Tech Robotics World Championships, recognizing a team whose unique efforts performance or dynamics during the competition merits recognition.
The JC Team advanced to the FIRST having won the Inspire Award at the semi-finals in New York in March. The team earned that award having demonstrated being a strong competitor on the field, and also by setting an outstanding example through the conduct of its members in showing team spirit and “gracious professionalism” toward other teams.
JC hopes to share their knowledge of robotics in other schools with the hopes of more students getting involved in competitions of this manner.
“Jamaica College would like to see similar programmes replicated in all schools across Jamaica. It’s quite consistent with STEM and I’d like to see Jamaica positioned at the high end of the utilization, application and creation of technology,” asserted Ruel Reid, Principal of Jamaica College.