The first ever robotics schools competition for the Rift Valley Region saw 29 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools wrestle it out for honours at Ole Tipis Girls’ Secondary School in Narok County. A total of 32 teams participated, with some schools bringing two teams.
The competition held under the aegis of Kenya Science and Engineering Fair produced seven schools that on April 6 will represent Rift Valley region at the National Science and Engineering fair in Nakuru.
Coordinator of the Robotics team Mr. David Kireru from the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) praised Saint Kevin’s Lodwar and Saint Benedict’s Bomet, Sub County Schools from Turkana and Bomet Counties that performed well alongside the better privileged County Schools.
The seven schools to feature at the national robotic competitions are Naivasha Girls’, Wamba Boys’, Sugoi Girls’, Loreto Matunda, Chebara Boys, Samoei Boys and Saint Joseph’s Kitale. Naivasha Girls emerged tops in Narok and will send two teams. Samoei Boys and Loreto Matunda came second and third respectively.
The fair was officially opened by the Rift Valley regional Teachers Service Commission(TSC) coordinator Ms. Beatrice Agala who described as apt the choice of the President’s big four agenda of manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal house care to define the competitions.
Ms. Agala described robotics as a scientific invention that had a special place in the future of technology going by the increasing use of drones to carry out basic human activities such as photography, delivery of items and even attacks of enemy targets. “That these simple contraptions can be programmed to carry out important chores and tasks minus the physical presence of humans is no mean achievement,” she said.
Ms. Agala thanked CEMASTEA through the institution’s Deputy Director Mrs. Lydia Muriithi who graced the occasion for the initiative to distribute to STEM schools components used in assembling robots, a gesture she said had contributed significantly to the students’ creativity. She urged schools with the financial ability to purchase the components to do so for the sake of their students.
The three day fair was closed by the Narok County Director of Teachers Service Commission with trophies and certificates for schools that excelled in the 13 categories of competition that included science and mathematics.