Encouraged by the success of NIHERST’s FIRST LEGO League National Championship Education Minister Anthony Garcia is hoping that the number of students and schools participating will increase by 100 per cent next year.
He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the event at Trinity College East, on Saturday.
Garcia said he was proud of the innovations he had seen given that it was the first time that the competition had been held in the English-speaking Caribbean and T&T had the honour of being its host.
“Today, I want to specially recognise the schools and participants that have risen to the challenge and participated in this competition,” Garcia said.
“You are the pioneers, you have set the bar. I hope that when news of the success of this competition gets out that more of your peers are inspired to participate next year.
“You 87 students, though small in number, have joined the ranks of 255,000 children around the world who have risen to the 2016/2017 FIRST Lego League Animal Allies Challenge.
“I hope that our numbers increase 100-fold next year as more schools and teams get involved.”
He said the group being targeted by the competition were nine to 16-year-olds.
Garcia said that it was an important target group for the ministry as it was a prime developmental stage in boys and girls when cognitive development was honed.
He said the competition immersed young people into real-world science and technology challenges.
Garcia said through their participation, the students learned things about themselves, talents and gifts innate to their being, while discovering that they too can make a positive contribution to society.
He said that it was important that children make the connection between their education and their contribution to building a better society and he believed that this competition and others like it can help to do so.
Garcia said NIHERST, LEGO Education and FIRST shared common aims and objectives to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM and STEM Robotics while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
What is FIRST LEGO League?
FIRST and LEGO Group joined forces to create FIRST LEGO League, a programme that engaged children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League is a global programme with a presence in 80 countries. The programme utilises theme-based challenges to engage children in research, problem solving, and engineering. The cornerstones of the programme are its Core Values, which emphasise contributions of others, friendly competition, learning, and community involvement.