State House, Freetown, Monday 2 October 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio today met Team Sierra Leone, which is set to participate in this year’s Robotics Competition in Singapore.
The annual robotics event will bring together thousands of students from more than 190 countries to collaboratively compete in a thrilling game, highlighting the importance of renewable energy and its potential to create a better future for all.
Commissioner, National Commission for Children, Joyce Wuyah Tejan-Kelle, said for the fifth time Sierra Leone was participating in the Robotics Competition, which was being organised by the FIRST Global Challenge and would take place from the 7th to the 10th of October 2023.
“This year’s theme is ‘hydrogen horizon’. The participants were selected from the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM, clubs that we have established in schools across Sierra Leone. Even though we are a third-world country, we are not shying away from competing with those developed nations,” she said.
She informed the President that the team would leave for Singapore on Tuesday 3 October 2023, adding that 70% of the funds for Sierra Leone’s participation was from the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST, called the FIRST Global Challenge and the remaining 30% was from the Government of Sierra Leone.
She said the FIRST Global Challenge was a yearly Olympics-style robotics competition organised by the International First Committee Association.
Emmanuel Kamanda, the mentor of Team Sierra Leone, said they had built a robot that could perform four functions, noting that in the competition, the robot should collect and deposit balls within two minutes and thirty seconds.
He led his team to do a performance of the robot and it displayed much to the admiration of the President.
In his response, President Julius Maada Bio said the display was very impressive and wished them success in the competition.
FIRST Global’s mission is to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in youth from all nations in order to increase understanding, instill the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues, and improve the quality of life for all.
Bringing these future STEM leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of STEM education and demonstrates that they can work together — even in competition — to find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.
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