Mumbai school students to head to US for world robotics competition
In two weeks, a team of 25 high school students from nine schools in Mumbai will represent the country at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) World Championship at Houston, United States.
The students from classes 8 to 12 have designed an industrial-sized robot that will compete with similar robots built by children from around the world.
“We participated in the regionals at Sydney recently and qualified to represent our country at the world championship in Houston. This is the work of 13 to 15-year-old students who are passionate about robotics,” said Meenal Majumder, the mentor for the team. “FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires innovation and teaches students communication and leadership skills necessary for their success,” Majumder said.
As part of the competition, participants had to reach out to school students to help introduce more children to robotics. In the past few months, this team has displayed their robot at 50 different schools. “In the past one year, these students have completed over 2000 hours of community service through mentoring elementary school students, running robotics events, teaching math and science in NGOs, conducting waste management programs and fund raising for NGOs,” added Majumder.
In the regionals at Sydney, the team won three awards and hopes to continue their streak in the world championship as well, which will take place from April 18 to 21 this year.
The group said that the display of the robots at schools was to cultivate an appreciation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in schools and in the community. The group funded and mentored two teams of underprivileged children and formed and mentored 2 all-girls team to take part in the First Lego League (FLL) competition. The team has also grown in the number of girls who participate; beginning with just one girl in 2016 to four now.