Members of the Jamaica College junior robotics team (from left): Joel Henry, Gavil Williams, Myles Johnson, Xavier Howell and Aaron Gooden pause for a photo with their robot. (Photos: Garfield Robinson)
A competitor since 2009, JC won the challenge in 2013 and are looking to medal this time around.
FIRST Tech Challenge teams are invited to design, build, programme, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills and practise engineering principles, like keeping an engineering notebook, while realising the value of hard work, innovation and sharing ideas.
Teams must also raise funds, design and market their team's brand, and participate in community outreach. Participants have access to millions of dollars in college scholarships and each season concludes with super-regional championships and a FIRST championship.
President of the JC robotics club Javaughn Thompson told the Jamaica Observer that, over the two years he has been part of the club, he has seen exceptional growth among his team members.