July 21, 2019

TEAM ACRO-BOT (GHANA) EMERGE CHAMPIONS AT THE 2019 ROBOFEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HELD IN MICHIGAN, MAY 16 ~ 18

Team ACRO-BOT (from Methodist Girls’ SHS, Mamfe) came first beating stiff oppositions from experienced teams from United States of America, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Ghana, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, Hungary, India, Lebanon, Macau, Morocco, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, ect.

Dr. Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi led Ghana’s contingent of 21 people made of 3 teams (Acro-Bot, I-Bot and Cosmic Intellect) and two stuff members of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF) to the annual event which was held at the Lawrence Technological University (LTU), Southfield, Michigan from May 16 ~ 18. In 2011, GRAF; founded by Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, begun introducing Ghanaian Senior High School students to Robotics and Programming through the Robotics inspired Science Education (RiSE) Program with the objective of creating and nurturing a sustained interest in hands-on science and fostering a strong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects among high school students.

The Robofest World Championship is a global Robotics competition for 5th – 12th graders founded by Dr. Chung-Jin and sponsored by the Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan in the United States of America. The competition begins with National qualifiers held in various countries including United States of America, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Ghana, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, Hungary, India, Lebanon, Macau, Morocco, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, ect. Best teams from these qualifiers meet in the United States to compete in the Annual Robofest World Championship Competition.

Through the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation, the 20th Robofest World Championship saw Ghana represented in the senior category by two teams (Acrobot and I-Bot) both from the Methodist Girls Senior High School, Mamfe and in the junior category by Cosmic Intellect, a private team from the Mikrostem Academy established by Ing. Michael Wilson. The teams pulled stunning results at the just ended world championship with Team Acro-bot emerging as the Overall winner (1st place) in the senior category out of 25 teams. Team Cosmic Intellect placed 6th out of 52 teams who competed in the junior category of the championship and Team I-Bot placed 15th in the senior Category of the senior game.

Up until 2018, RiSE activities had seen Ghana participate in a number of international competitions in countries including: US, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, India, Costa Rica and also the recipient of prestigious awards including but not limited to the under listed:

2016: A RiSE team finished as Semi-finalists in the World Robots Olympiad (WRO) in Open Category for Senior High. WRO is the biggest global competition so far.

2016: A RiSE team received the TOYOTA INNOVATION AWARD at the GLOBAL ROBOFEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in Michigan (US) by one of Ghana’s teams.

2017: A RiSE team finished in the top 12 (from over 160 competitors) in the 2017 GOOGLE’S GLOBAL MOONBOT CHALLENGE

2018: A RiSE team finished 8th overall out of 23 teams in the Seniors Game category of the GLOBAL ROBOFEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP; the first time in the 13-year history an African team broke into the top 10.

2018: A RiSE team in the SHELL OCEAN X-PRIZE global competition placed 2nd and 3rd in two separate categories of adjudication (from over 1,500 competitors)

With the current drift of the global economy from an industrial age to a knowledge-based and conceptual/creativity age, the focus on STEM education and critical thinking has been a focus of most developed and developing countries. To improve the efficiency and throughput of the education system in this era, it remains critical to explore efficient techniques and tools to augment the current delivery mode in schools targeting at improving STEM, creativity and critical thinking skill development.

The Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation through its RiSE program remains committed to demystifying science through a futuristic educational transformation and helping every student achieve relevant skillsets needed to be effective in the 4th Industrial revolution.

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