Jamaica College wins Prizes at United States First Robotics Competition in February 2017

“It wasn’t really much of a surprise because we put in a lot of work. None of this would be possible without our coaches’ help, sponsors and the whole team working together. It is a really good feeling and we are proud that we have not only represented Jamaica College but Jamaica and the Caribbean”

Dimario Campbell, president and captain of the team commenting on the performance of Jamaica College at the United States First Robotics Competition

Jamaica College has done it yet again. This time they’ve entered the United States First Robotics Competition, held in New York in February 2017 (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2017, March 7) and walked away with a number of sectional prizes, including:

  • The Inspire Award
  • The Motivator Award

I say yet again as this is not the first time (Jamaicans.com, March 2016) that they’re reached this level. the Jamaica College Robotics Club had entered the USFRS back in March 2016 and had competed at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Back then, they’d also won the Motivate Award, advancing to the FRC USFIRST Robotics National Championship in St. Louis, Missouri, which was then held on April 27 to 30 2016.

Jamaica college was in face the only Caribbean School to enter the competition, which is surprising given the number of Robotics Programs such as Vybz Kartel Robotics Camp in Portmore (Deer, 2016, September 6) and Supreme Ventures funds Junior Creators Robotics Summer Camp (Deer, 2016, August 5) held back in 2016.

Principal of JC, Wayne Robinson hopes to qualify for the World Championships in April 2017, pointing to the potential rewards, quote: “It’s a competition which gives opportunities for students, usually for high school. We were the only Caribbean school there competing with other areas of the world”.

They did, however, encounter some difficulties related to financing their two (2) Robotics teams, quote: “We won a number of awards for our performances. As a matter of fact, we had to merge the two teams into one, because even though both teams moved on to the second round, we couldn’t afford to carry both teams to the next round because we didn’t have the resources to fix one of the robots”.

Still the victories were well deserved as the JC team put a lot of effort into their showing, including a couple all-nighters, to quote president and captain of the team Dimario Campbell:  “As high-school students, we had to manage both schoolwork and robotics. It was very challenging, but the team made it work. Sometimes we are here from as early as 6:30 in the morning and the first place we head to is the robotics lab to get work done. We leave sometimes at 10/11 o’clock in the night, so it was a lot of sleepless nights”.

Despite the financial resource constraints, JC Robotics Team persisted and has now place Jamaica on the map a country serious about robotics!

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2016, August 5). Supreme Ventures funds Junior Creators Robotics Summer Camp. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/junior-creators-robotics-summer-camp/
  2. Deer, L. (2016, September 6). Vybz Kartel Official VK Line launches robotics camp for High Schools in Portmore. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/official-vk-line-launches-robotics-camp/
  3. The Jamaica Gleaner. (2017, March 7). Jamaica College Robotics Team Shines On International Stage. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170307/jamaica-college-robotics-team-shines-international-stage
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