Return of the Lego robots

BY PAUL ALLEN Business reporter allenp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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JAMAICA needs to embrace technology more seriously if it does not want to be further disadvantaged, said Marvin Hall, founder of Halls of Learning.


Having seen children building and programming robots in Singapore, he said that's the motivation behind him launching his 'Lego Yuh Mind' programme, geared at offering high- school experience in doing the same.


"Lego Yuh Mind is a series of one-day workshops offering high school students hands-on learning experiences in science, mathematics, technology and problem-solving through the building of autonomous robots."


The initiative will be offered to 540 students at 12 Corporate Area schools, including Camperdown High, Dunoon Technical and Wolmer's Girls.


Children who participate in such activities will have a greater appreciation for teamwork and problem solving, Hall said.


"We want to take it to a lot more students," he said. "The aim is to get to every child in every parish," a big dream that he thinks can be realised with greater corporate support.


The programme, which is sponsored by several companies, is offered free to students with the schools being required to provide a space.


'Lego Yuh Mind' will be launched today at the Spanish Court Hotel at 10 am. The programme will officially begin on Friday, March 2.


Philip Paulwell, Minister of Mining, Energy and ICT, will be one of several speakers at the launch.


"Since 2004, over 1,300 children from various backgrounds have benefited from Lego Yuh Mind summer programmes, after-school programmes and inner-city outreach activities."


Hall said children need to be exposed to this kind of activity that allows them to develop lifelong skills necessary for our changing world that's increasing dependent on science and information and communication technology.


The inner-city component of the project has taken Hall and his volunteers to Mountain View, Seaview Gardens and Tivoli Gardens.


Halls of Learning is a Jamaican-based organisation dedicated to empowering the lives of people through education.


"We want to prompt a certain level of awareness for Jamaicans. We need to join the global experience of robotic competitions, which are a launch pad for engineering and computer science", Hall said. "I want us to excel and be on par globally, as we are in track and field," he said.



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