March 19, 2012 – New York, NY — The Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York pulsated with excitement Saturday, March 17 as a large and enthusiastic crowd was treated to an enthralling matchup of brain power between schools competing in the FIRST Robotics Tech Challenge (FTC). In only their third year of competition the Jamaica College Robotics Team, the Gold Griffins, battled 71 US high school rivals to a standstill and eventually emerged with a third place finish. The Jamaican Consulate was represented by Deputy Consul General Sharon Burrell Green with members of the Jamaican alumni community in support.
Jamaica College is the only Caribbean high school competing in the US FIRST Robotics Tech Challenge and the NY/NJ Tournament commenced with the playing of the US and Jamaican national anthems…. A proud moment for the large Jamaican contingent on hand. The robotics initiative was conceived in 2009 by the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of New York Inc. with the objective of exciting students at JC and in Jamaica generally, about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). US$14m in college scholarships is available to FTC participants.
With a team of 13 students ranging from 1st through 6th Form and three faculty advisors, the JC Robotics Club labored for months in designing, constructing and testing their robot to meet the demanding standards of the game developed by US FIRST. The team members had to become proficient in software programming, electrical, electronic & mechanical design and construction. Team sponsors include Dennis Shipping, Mothers Patties, Wisynco and WATA. The Robotics Club had excellent technical assistance from students of the University of Technology – Faculty of Engineering & Computing under an agreement arranged by the Digital Yard Innovation Project.
Support for the overall robotics venture also came from the Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association (NY) and the UTech Alumni Association (NY) which jointly sponsored the visit of an observer mission from UTech. This visit was aimed at gathering information for the Digital Yard Robotics Competition planned for a 2013 launch in Jamaica.
About Jamaica College & JCOBA-NY Inc.
Founded in 1795, Jamaica College is a prominent high school in Jamaica with graduates excelling at all levels of Jamaican society. Since 1992 JCOBA-NY has supported educational and extra-curricular programs at Jamaica College through project fundraising and technical assistance. JCOBA-NY also conducts community outreach programs in health, culture and sports in the Northeast. http://www.jcobany.org/
About US FIRST Robotics
The mission of US FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build those skills.US FIRST seeks to inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership. http://www.usfirst.org/
About Digital Yard Innovation Project
The Digital Yard Project presents a vision and an execution model for a future Jamaica where our children have a culture of fascination for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The initiative is focused on Vision 2030 – Jamaica National Development Plan. http://issuu.com/nycneighborhoods/docs/digiyard/1
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