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Oct 17, 2019

Belize High School Launches Appeal for National Elementary Schools Robotics Competition

The Belize High School is moving robotics up to another level. A national competition is in the works and teams from across the country are encouraged to participate in the event which takes place in January. But even before the National Elementary School Robotics Competition, a team from B.H.S. is heading to Dubai to compete in an international competition where the Sea Empress will be put to the test in collecting micro pollutants in the water. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, the folks over at the Belize High School launched an appeal for primary schools from across the country to field a team of ten students and a teacher/mentor to be a part of its FIRST Lego League in Belize. The National Elementary School Robotics Competition is an initiative that the secondary school is thrusting in an effort to further robotics in this generation. Jamie Usher, Principal of B.H.S. says that the programme began over the summer when students were brought in for a first-hand experience in merging building blocks and coding using arithmetic.

 

Jamie Usher

Jamie Usher, Principal, Belize High School

“We are calling for ten teams to join a robotics competition called FIRST Lego League and FIRST Lego League can take ten students and one mentor. In your registration will include a kit and in the kit will have a mat and different Lego pieces to build. And then your team will need to get a robot. You work from now to January. In the middle of January, we will have all the teams descend on BHS campus for a national competition. The winner of that competition will be dubbed the first ever, FIRST Lego League Team Belize to represent us in U.S.A.”

 

Three schools already signed up are Belize Elementary School, Garden City and Island Academy elementary schools. There is a misconception; however, that robotics is a difficult field. But standard-four student Taylor Bradley says it’s quite the contrary. He took an interest, having played with Legos from a young age.  He is convinced that his peers and even persons in their adult age can be engaged with robotics.

 

Taylor Bradley

Taylor Bradley, Student, Saint Joseph RC School

“To me it is easy and I think it is a good way to teach kids how to build robotics and how to programme so then if they wanted to do stuff like IT in the future, then it will be easier for them.”

 

Duane Moody

“You would advise other kids from your school and elsewhere to do the same?”

 

Taylor Bradley

“Yes I would advise them. Although some kids might not like Legos, but I understand that and they might have differences. So I am saying I am not gonna force people to do it. I am just advising it out of my own heart.”

 

Belize High School has been a trailblazer when it comes to introducing robotics at the secondary level. In fact, for the second year in a row, a group of students have been selected to represent the country in an international robotics competition in Dubai against over one hundred and ninety plus teams from other countries. Team Belize leaves on Sunday, but we got an inside look as they made final tweaks on their robot, the Sea Empress, which is designed to collect micro pollutants in water.

 

Chahatt Chawla

Chahatt Chawla, Spokesperson, Team Belize

“It’s a little unbelievable; we still can’t believe that in a couple days we will be on a plane with our fully built robot. It is really unbelievable. It took a lot of trial and error so like building something, realizing that it doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit the guidelines. Having to take it down or tweaking it. It is a lot of engineering and programming too. So a lot of the programming aspect was there too. And we hope that our robot will be; it will. It is sure to do what it is supposed to.”

 

Adrian Fonseca

Adrian Fonseca, Captain, Team Belize

“We are preparing to compete against one hundred and ninety other countries. We have been preparing from August and there is a specific game we are going to be playing and our goal is to get into the top thirty which is the semi-finals, but ultimately we are out there to get the experience and come back to Belize and share that experience with the people here and get robotics known in Belize.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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