BY DAYO ADESULU
Amongst four African countries that represented the continent in the 2012 World Robot Olympiad, Team Nigeria emerged first.
Represented by the trio of Mfoniso Moses, Mercy Ingibina Benjamin and Dapreye Zidafamor, they were selected from public schools in Lagos and trained by Alofos Science & Technology Foundation.
Contestants at the junior high school game were challenged to build a robot capable of exploring rough terrain in search of useful resources.
At the end of the exercise, the Nigerian pupils from Winners Academy Team were ranked second highest African team in the elementary – regular category.
While the elementary (primary) school level game challenged pupils to build a robot that is capable of organizing objects back into their respective storage cells.
The overwhelming response from participating countries proves that the WRO has successfully raised interest among students in science and technology, robotics and ICT.
The WRO provides participants with the opportunity to gain multi-dimensional knowledge through innovative use of technology and creative problem solving.
It is a great platform for preparing students who are capable of facing global challenges in the twenty-first century.
By interacting with robots, children develop greater appreciation about the real world.
Learning through designing, building and operating robots can lead to the acquisition of knowledge and skills in high-tech electrical, mechanical and computer engineering areas that are in high demand in industry.
It also promotes the development of thinking, problem solving, self study and teamwork skills so essential for 21stcentury living.
Since the study of robotics cuts across several disciplines, such as applied ICT, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, this makes it a popular and effective teaching tool for introducing students to the science, technology and mathematics curricula.
And this is also what makes robotics and ideal career choice. Encompassing multiple industries and multiple skills, robotics is definitely not a monolithic field with a single career path.
Robotics, today, is a major growth segment in industry and there is a marked increasing demand for young and talented robotics professional to work in the industry.