Children from Young Engineers Uganda Nominated for Pan African Robotics Competition in Senegal
Kampala Uganda: Eight Children from Young Engineers Uganda, a STEM Education brand of the African School of Innovations Science and Technology (ASIST) Ltd, have won this year’s nomination to represent the country at the forthcoming Pan African Robotics Competitions (PARC 2022) in Dakar, Senegal next month.
The ‘Team Uganda’ of 8 include; Queen Ankunda Kajwengye (15), Lowena Mwiza Rugyendo (14), Gabriel Josephat Kawalya (12), Pearl Ayebare (11), Ethan Samuel Kazoora (10), Celine Nyonyozi (10), Leona Pauine Ainemukama (9) and Aleem Israel Mangalji (8).
In a letter to ASIST Ltd dated June 17, 2022, the PARC 2022 coordinator Mr. Ada Tapily said: “I am pleased to welcome your students to the 2022 Pan-African Robotics Competition (PARC). This year the event will be held from July 1 – 5 at the At the Dakar arena in Dakar, Senegal. PARC allows middle school, high school and university students from around the continent to compete in robotics. Participating students have a unique opportunity to learn how to use science and technology to find innovative solutions to societal problems. We are inviting your students to participate in this year’s competition,” he wrote.
He added that this year’s theme is “Sustainable Impact” and participating students from the entire continent will be challenged to create robotics and drone solutions for climate change adaptation, hunger, water, sanitation and transport in Africa.
“We expect the participation of teams from more than 30 countries. In addition to the Pan-African competition and the youth forum, this forum is an opportunity for students to discuss topics that are relevant to their education and aspirations,” he added.
The competition is sponsored by such big names as the World Bank Group, Vex Robotics, Freedom Robotics, MathWorks, Deloite, Carnegie Mellon University- Rwanda, the Republic of Rwanda, MasterCard, UB.Tech, among others.
Participating teams will receive free robotics kits while winners will be for potential scholarship opportunities in different technology institutions around the globe.
Young Engineers Uganda Founder and CEO, Journalist Arinaitwe Rugyendo, praised the children and appealed for support to each of them to enable them represent the country.
“From the time we started this programme in 2016, we have been consistent in our mission of nurturing the next generation of Ugandan scientists, technologists, critical and creative thinkers. Here are some of our best children from our LEGO and Robotics programmes. I present them for support where necessary because most of their parents cannot fully afford the expenses involved,” he said.
However, he added, the company had, together with their parents, have managed to work on some tickets and associated expenses totaling up to Shs 30 million.
“We are looking for another 35 million. Any person or company that wishes us to continue our STEM Education work in Uganda, is encouraged to support these children whom we are sure will fly our nation’s flag very admirably in Dakar,” he said.
Mr Rugyendo particularly thanked individuals and institutions for the support rendered thus far including; Galaxy International School, Kazaire Health Products, King Caesar University/King Caesar Mulenga, Housing Finance Bank and Kampala Standard.
Other Rugyendo thanked are ; H.E Quillino Bamwine- Honorary Consul of Eswatini, Mr. Ghulam Raza Badriwala, Mr. Raymond Karamagi and Ms Peace Kyampaire (a.k.a Pretty Kontagious).
Mr. Rugyendo added that more contributors will be announced in the course of this week after putting together the list of supporters within and outside Uganda.
Founded in 2016 by media entrepreneur and journalist, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Young Engineers Uganda is part of the worldwide Young Engineers educational enrichment programme Founded in 2008, in Israel.
Globally, Young Engineers operates Engineering after-school activities in over 50 countries. Its mission is to prepare 4-15 year -old students for the changing demands of the 21st-century workforce.
With over 30,000 happy students globally, Young Engineers has been recognized by the Harvard School of Education and the European Union Commission.
“At Young Engineers, we believe in engaging our students’ education processes while developing their learning skills. We understand that every child has a different technique for learning and retaining information; yet, we have found out that making learning fun is the lowest common denominator for a successful education. We have meticulously generated hands-on curricula, which combine education and entertainment, creating our unique “edutainment” method, using a LEGO and Robotics curriculum,” Rugyendo says.
In Uganda, the programme runs in partner schools, most especially Heritage International School, British School of Uganda and several other private schools