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The Griffins Win Top Award at the Inaugural FTC Jamaica Championship

Heartiest congratulations to the Jamaica College Griffins, winner of the Inspire Awards at the Inaugural First Tech Challenge - Jamaica Championship. The ladies from Immaculate clocked in with a strong second place and Calabar snagged the third place spot.



In 2009 JCOBA-NY started and has since supported FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) at Jamaica College. The Association registered the JC team with FIRST in 2009 and supplied equipment and training from Day 1. Our proposal to Board Chair Danny Williams and then-Principal Ruel Reid had been immediately accepted. The entire JC community subsequently embraced the robotics project and has supported it brilliantly throughout its 9-year history. JCOBA-NY entered the JC team in the March 2010 FTC competition in NYC. This was the historic and pioneering entry of any school in the entire Caribbean region in the world’s premier robotics competition. To date this record is unbroken.

JC Robotics Program Highlights:

  • JC has won 14 international awards in FTC and reached 4 World Championships

  • JC Robotics has inspired Jamaica from the PM down to school kids

  • JC students have vastly increased competence in technology applications

  • Graduates of JC Robotics have overwhelmingly progressed to tech careers

  • Robotics is the discipline leading JC’s accomplishments in the past decade and one of its most noted ever

  • Jamaicans at home and abroad have been inspired by the example set by JC Robotics

  • The project has sparked overwhelming national interest in STEM as critical to 21st century education

When JCOBA-NY launched JC Robotics the intention was always one day to bring FTC to Jamaica. The Association labored for years with this objective and organized schools, educators and community organizations at home and abroad around our vision of a Jamaican Robotics Champs. Our target was achieved in 2018 when we struck an affiliate partnership agreement with FIRST. At our request the JC Foundation served as FIRST Affiliate Partner with the project being headed by Teddy Alexander and Gavin Samuels as Partner Representative.

JCOBANY’s work then progressed to ensuring the success of FTC Jamaica:

  • JCOBANY struck a partnership with the Ministry of Education to support our STEM education drive

  • In 2017 HM Reid pledged JA$50 Million in financing for our STEM projects – which seeded FTC Jamaica

  • This funding was subsequently used to acquire robotics kits for FTC participants

  • JCOBANY then began the critical work of organizing and orienting schools on FTC requirements

  • Over a 10-month period JCOBA-NY onboarded and educated 22 schools on the FTC project

  • JCOBANY then arranged to launch active and equipped FTC clubs at KC and Dunoon Tech

  • Along with the clubs we started at JC and fostered at Immaculate ~2013 – 7 FTC teams were grandfathered

  • All the above secured a running start for FTC Jamaica

JCOBA-NY is proud to congratulate all the competing schools in FTC Jamaica as well as salute the work of Teddy Alexander, Gavin Samuels. Principal Robinson (and the entire Jamaican project team) in leading the critical Jamaican leg of our long-term relay over the finish line. No words can adequately express our gratitude to FIRST. The FIRST movement is a marvel. From our initial contact with Ana Martinez in 2009 through to working with Mary-Ann, Carol and volunteers like the Rerick family - through to securing Jamaica’s Affiliate Partner status in 2018 - our Association has experienced overwhelming caring and love from FIRST. We thank you all eternally.

Sometimes big dreams do come true. Thank you all for making us believers.

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