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Zimbabwe flag flies high in Italian robotics challenge

by Staff reporter
08 Mar 2024 at 05:05hrs | Views
Zimbabwe continues to shine on the global academic map as it increases its strides towards harnessing studies that promote sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM.

This has seen a group of seventeen robotics students flying into Milan, Italy, for First Tech robotics competitions that are being held from the 6th to the 12th of March, further raising the nation's flag high following previous successful global performances on the robotics arena.

The students who are drawn from Tynwald High School in Harare and Milestone College from Rusape, left the country on Wednesday, pledging to bring trophies of success as they also earmark learning new knowledge on harnessing practical solutions through robotics.

Zimbabwe is the only African country showcasing at the Italian competitions with team coach and robotics mentor, Mr Charles Matanga acknowledging the Second Republic's commitment towards availing of opportunities that are cementing the growth of STEM studies.

"As a nation, we have the National Development Strategy 1 which has a clause on innovation and modernisation and that's where we are coming from as a school that we should take strong emphasis in terms of innovation and ideas that come from students.

"We are in Milan for First Tech robotics competitions from the 6th to the 12th of March where we are looking forward to learning new design mechanisms and new software programs that are being used in robotics, at the same time we are also showcasing what we have been doing in preparation of the competition," said Mr Matanga who is also the computer science teacher at Tynwald.

In October 2022, the school had a grant opportunity to participate in the First Global Robotics competitions that were held in Geneva, Switzerland, where they scooped a gold medal outclassing the so-called technologically advanced countries.

Winners of this Italian league will be scheduled for international competitions in the United States of America, with the team coach saying they are not in Milan as under-dogs but rather as equal champions.

"We are looking forward to seeing how robotics competitions are organised at a larger scale, for students they will attend seminars and presentations from tech enthusiasts, other students as well as professionals to guide them on career paths they can take after taking STEM subjects.

"Our students will exhibit and demonstrate their own skills, we are not here participating as underdogs but technology is ever-changing so we would like to demonstrate what we know while learning new technological trends in terms of coding robots, design mechanisms and how to engineer them," added Mr Matanga

Tynwald has participated in various global robotics competitions including the 2017 First Global Robotics competition in Washington DC.

In 2018 the school scooped a bronze medal in Mexico City and went on to showcase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2019 and later emerged victorious winning a gold medal during the Pan Africa robotics competition held in Accra, Ghana.

Zoey Chibune a Form 4 student at Tynwald is one of the participants showcasing in Milan.

"The First Tech Challenge is under the STEM program. We are elated to be travelling because of the new experience we will be gaining.

"Moreover, we are noticing that even during the program and making of the prototypes, all of it was outstanding and we learnt numerous tricks such as coding and we can now navigate various machinery items like the motors, C-channels and other things that can make our prototype move, we are expecting to reach the finals and scoop the gold medal for we have been working hard in preparations," said Chibune.

Another participant from Milestone College, Tawona Musariri said, "This is not my first time taking part in a robotics challenge so my experience has been building up and am really happy that I am going to continue gaining more knowledge."

Source - The Herald