Guyana wins Albert Einstein gold medal

Guyana Chronicle

– in global robotics competition

TEAM Guyana copped the 2019 Albert Einstein Award for excellence at the First Global Robotics Competition at the Festival Arena in Dubai on Sunday.
The First Global Challenge is an annual Olympics-style robotics competition organised by the International First Committee Association. It promotes STEM education and careers for youth.

In the case of the ‘Albert Einstein Award for First Global International Excellence,’ it is presented to teams whose robots performed the best during the First Global Challenge, and exemplified all of the tenets of the First Global community. The Albert Einstein Award is one of several categories in the competition where teams are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

Participating in the competition for the third consecutive year, Guyana fielded a team that included eight participants – all members of STEMGuyana.
“Team Guyana overcame tremendous challenges to end the 3 day global tournament with 6 victories and 3 losses which earned them an overall ranking of 39th place out of the 190 countries which took part in the global competition. The ranking means that Guyana finds itself among the elite top 25 per cent teams in world rankings,” STEMGuyana said in a statement.

Ahead of the competition, Team Guyana faced many challenges even after it left Guyana for Dubai. The team’s robot did not arrive in Dubai until the night before the competition started. The robot was partially damaged.

“Day one saw the Team Guyana alliance winning 2 out of 3 games; the lost due to failure of a motor which stopped the team from shooting to earn points.  The team ended the day in 24th overall ranking.  Day two’s play of 4 games began with two brilliant back-to-back victories and 2 painful losses; one well-earned but the other due to another failure of a motor on the robot.  The losses dropped Team Guyana into 62nd ranking and put tremendous pressure on the young team to win both final games on day three.

Day three brought victories and high scores as Team Guyana members worked together to execute their game strategies and rally back to end the day among the elite 25 per cent of teams in the world,” the STEMGuyana further reported.
Annually, in the First Global Challenge, participating teams face varying themed challenges in an effort to foster understanding and cooperation among the youth of the world as they use their abilities to solve the world’s problems.

This year, the challenge was themed around clearing the ocean of pollutants.
The Ocean Opportunities challenge saw two competing alliances, each comprised three teams from different nations, work to clear the ocean of pollutants. Clean-up crews have two (2) minutes and thirty (30) seconds to collect pollutants, deliver them to processing areas, and finally remove their robots, also known as collectors, from the ocean.

Guyana first began participating in the competition in 2017. Back then, the team was ranked first at the end of the first day and placed 10th overall at the end of the competition held in Washington, DC.

April 2019:

Minister Catherine Hughes had made several presentations of Robotic Kits to STEMGuyana and a number of Primary and secondary schools, ICT hubs and youth organizations.  STEM Guyana had used the hubs to train students for the 2019 International Youth Robotics Competition (IYRC).

STEM Guyana won the right to host the IYRC league 2019 pre-qualifier competition in Guyana, and ultimately selected the team to compete against other youths from around the world in the 7 to 12, 13 to 17 and Open categories of the global competition in Dubai.