Dr Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi led Ghana’s contingent of 21 people made of 3 teams (ACROBOT, I-BOT and Cosmic Intellect) and staff 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, began 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 Prof. Chan-Jin Chung and sponsored by the Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan. The competitions begins with national qualifiers held in various states including the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Ghana, Egypt, India, Macau, South Africa, Ecuador. Best teams from these qualifiers meet in the US to compete in the Annual Robofest World Championship Competition.
Through GRAF, in the 20th Robofest World Championship, Ghana was 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 and run by Ing. Michael Wilson. The teams pulled stunning results at the just ended world championship with Team ACROBOT emerging as the overall winner (1st place) in the senior category out of 25 teams. Team Cosmic Intellect placed 6th out of 52 teams which 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:
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. GRAF through its RiSE program remains committed to demystifying science through a futuristic educational transformation and helping every student achieve the relevant skill-set needed to be effective in the 4th Industrial revolution.
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