National Baking Company Foundation supports JC robotics team

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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NATIONAL Baking Company Foundation recently donated $3.8 million to the Jamaica College Robotics Club's participation in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championships, which concluded yesterday in Houston, Texas.

The handover took place at the club's robotics lab, which was newly refurbished by the foundation last month.

The club was represented by 10 students at the four-day event, led by team captain and president David Smith alongside Faculty Advisor Jason Brown.

Smith, who is in his final year of studies and his second year as team captain, admitted while the aim of the team was to bring home the coveted World Championship Inspire Award, he hoped his club members would also have a memorable experience.

“National Baking Company Foundation has enabled us to participate in the competition,” he said, adding that the donation would allow his team “to have the full experience with a proper booth set up and be able to interact with the other teams competing”.

The booth also enabled members of the club to meet other teams from around the world.

Smith said the aim of his tenure as president has been to ensure that all members of his club experience the true meaning of brotherhood while aiding in personal, interpersonal and academic development.

“This club is a brotherhood, and that means that we look out for each other. We teach new members how to code using Java as well as designing in CAD, which helps them if they want to pursue IT or even mechanical engineering in CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) or beyond,” shared Smith.

Brown agreed that the spirit of brotherhood shared by the students not only helps to improve their academic prowess, but also aids them in developing confidence as well as boosts club morale.

“Robotics pushes the STEM agenda, which causes our students to think cognitively...Majority of our past club members have received scholarships overseas and our current president has already been accepted to two universities overseas to study mechanical engineering,” Brown stated.

Brown was confident that with the boost from the National Foundation, the team would perform exceedingly well.

“National has always taken great care of our club and in this specific instance, they are enabling us to not only travel to the World Championships but also to make the dream of taking home the World [Championship] Inspire Award a real possibility,” added Brown.

The team participated in the competition's Tech Challenge, which was open to students internationally from grades 7-12.

No strangers to success, the team, in addition to winning the Inspire, Connect and World Alliance Awards at the 2019 Jamaican leg of the competition in March of this year, are two-time World Championship Inspire Award winners copping the award in 2013 and 2018, both in New York City.

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