Nigerians, 29,000 Other Students For Robotics Software Competition In U.S

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Nigerian students are among 29,000 other students from 80 countries that will participate in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics championship in the U.S., a statement from the organizers, has said.

The statement issued by Mr Olajide Ajayi, FIRST LEGO League Coordinator in Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday said that the competition would hold from April 27 to April 30.

Ajayi said the Nigeria teams would also participate in the Open European Championship in Tenerife, Spain from May, 4 to May 7.

He said that FIRST LEGO League was an innovation and robotics programme, designed to get children excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and teach them valuable employment and life skills.

“This year is no different as Nigerian kids get their thinking caps on to learn and compete against their peers around the world.

“In the 2015/16 FIRSTLEGO League Challenge, FLL teams explored the fascinating world of trash.

“From collection to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is more to trash than meets the eye.

“The championship in Lagos at the Youth Centre, Oshodi was a culmination of the intensive work carried out by students from various schools around Lagos.

“The task was simple; identify any form of trash and think of how to convert same to treasure.”

Ajayi said that the championship witnessed different innovations coming from the youngsters.

He listed the innovations as a helicopter made from disused plastic and lollipop sticks, a 3-in-1 mp3 player, torch and fan.

Others were air-conditioner made out of a disused cooler and plastic bottle caps and many more.

According to him, these innovations reaffirm that every problem comes with a solution and as a nation, Nigeria needs thinkers.

“FIRSTLEGO League is an initiative of FIRST-For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, an organisation in the USA and LEGO.

“The programme has CODERINA a non-governmental organisation as its operational partner in the West African Region.

“It is for kids aged nine to14 in North America and nine to16 everywhere else.

“The competition has three components: Project, Robot game and the Core Values.’’

He said that the programme was set up to expose thousands of students, aged nine to 16 to software coding skills, in a fun-filled, hands-on way.

According to him, what the kids learn is to carry out a project and stand before the judges to defend whatever solution they come up with.

“We are teaching them self-expression; that is one of the keys to entrepreneurship.

“To be self-sufficient, you need to pitch your idea in a convincing manner for an investor to buy into it. We are surely building a solid foundation for these kids.

“It is a win-win for universities who will be enrolling candidates already grounded in the practical aspects of computing and software applications,” he said.

Ajayi said that the teams that would represent Nigeria emerged from the national competitions held in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Lagos.

He said the teams were from Kings College, Lagos, Glisten Optimistic School, Abuja, and Government Secondary School Elekahia, Port-Harcourt. (NAN)

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