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Sep 5, 2023

B.H.S. Robotics Team Prepares Robot for Global Competition

The Robotics team from Belize High School is keenly working on a robot that they will take to compete in this year’s FIRST Global Robotics Competition. The B.H.S. team is the defending champion after having captured gold at the Annual Global Challenge last year in Switzerland. This year, the team has to build a robot that will be able to carry out a sequence of tasks that will impress the judges. The team comprises of five students, who say they are ready. The competition will take place next month in Singapore and today, News Five’s Marion Ali stopped by to talk to a couple of the students and their teachers. Here’s that report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

These students of Belize High School are preparing their robot for next month’s global robotics challenge in Singapore. Their I.T. Director, Godfrey Sosa says there is a lot of complexities involved in putting the robot together.


Godfrey Sosa

Godfrey Sosa, I.T. Director, Belize High School

“It pushes the level for STEAM education in terms of really bringing out where we apply Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics to something like this.”


Marion Ali

“So are they getting guidance from anyone?”


Godfrey Sosa

“Yes, so we have four mentors that are also, along with myself, that is also a part of this team. We’ll be competing in the first global challenge competition. This includes almost 194 countries from around the world, and Belize is a part of that. So what you’re looking at is the robotics team, and from this team, five of our top students will be selected to attend the First Global Challenge in Singapore in October this year. Last year we managed to really put Belize on the map and get eyes on us in terms of winning the first global challenge competition last year in Geneva, Switzerland.”


Marion Ali

“That’s the overall competition?”


Godfrey Sosa

“Yes, yes, so we came back and we brought back gold. I mean, that was a big thing for us.”


The event is so big for the team that they’ve given up all their free time to prepare for this year’s competition. Third form student, Karii Domingo told us they’re hoping now to finish the project a little early so they can have a little free time before leaving.


Karii Domingo

Karii Domingo, 3rd Form student, B.H.S.

“With the robot itself, it takes lots of time, right? We can’t just go straight into it and get it done in a week. It takes time, effort, designing, everything. So, us as a team, we spent our entire summer here in this room working on the robot. So every day we came in, we worked from eight to five. We had our lunch and we just had to work on this every single day. Even up to today, we still stay back after school to actually get the work done.”


Fourth year student, Sebastian Garcia explained what the robot will be expected to do.


Sebastian Garcia

Sebastian Garcia, Fourth Form Student

“This is our robot for the FIRST Global Competition, and the task of this competition is to be able to collect hydrogen and oxygen balls and store them in a hydrogen hub, which is a three-foot tall container. When we started building, our first thing was to prototype, because we wanted to see, okay, what would work and what wouldn’t work. So when we started prototyping, we’re like, okay, certain things may need more parts than others. And we started dividing into like, how we can minimize the amount of parts we use so that we don’t use too many, so just in case anything were to go wrong, we have spares and extras to be able to fix it.”


Jamie Usher

But, all of this would not be possible were it not for the school’s Principal, Jamie Usher, whose vision several years back, led to a partnership between Belize High School and FIRST, a company in the U.S. that specializes in all things STEAM. She won an award recently, B.H.S.’s  Academic Counselor, Jennylee Francisco shared with us.


Jennylee Francisco

Jennylee Francisco, Academic Counselor, Belize High School

“Our principal, Mrs. Jamie Usher, received an award from FIRST. It’s one of the awards from the FIRST Educator – and out of 194 countries, so, this award is very distinctive to our country, Belize, as she’s representing our nation. FIRST stands for, for the Inspiration of Science and Technology. And this award is from that company. We have several programs that our school works with FIRST, which is the FIRST Robotics Challenge, FIRST Global Challenge. What we do here at Belize High School, we incorporate it and we share our knowledge to incorporate and put Belize on the map, and within our curriculum, we share with our teachers that STEAM is not a separate curriculum, but it’s an integration.”

The school is planning for two other big events following its October competition in Singapore. Marion Ali 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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