STEM Guyana teams secure medals in virtual robotics competition

Guyana has been placed on the map once again with positive recognition, bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals during a virtual International Youth Robotics Competition (IYRC) in Korea.

Five local teams, through STEM Guyana, participated in the global event, with all five teams finishing among the top three positions.

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This comes as a major improvement over last year’s performance whereby only two out of the seven teams that competed received medals.

The 2021 challenge required both categories to build a competition robot under the theme of “Robot My Friend”.

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This required team members to complete an extraordinary research and ideation process to make their submissions globally competitive. The gold medal team created a robot which could play soccer with the team members and which could also complete chores such as bringing medication to patients with limited mobility.

Guyana’s participation had been indefinite owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic. With the sponsorship of GTT, STEM Guyana commenced preparation of two senior teams within the 13-18 category and three junior teams for the 7-12 category to compete against teams from 71 other countries in the world.

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This year marks the fifth year since STEM Guyana prepared teams to participate in global competitions.

The organization is said to have a well-functioning robotics lab at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The current laboratory is sponsored by the Department of Youth and the Office of the Prime Minister.

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IYRC is an annual youth competition in robotics, programming, and digital technologies, organised by the International Youth Robot Association (IYRA). Previous competitions were held in Korea, Thailand, China, and Malaysia.

IYRA organises the annual event, which normally feature teams from 28 States, including the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, South Korea, China, USA, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, and Cambodia, but has been recently expanded to include teams from North and South America.

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This was the second year Guyana participated.

Meanwhile, Guyana is fielding another senior team currently in competition at the First Global Robotics competition of 175 countries. Team Guyana 2021 is presently tracking ninth out of 175 teams with opportunities to raise its ranking before the end of the competition in October.

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Team Guyana won the gold Albert Einstein medal in 2019.

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