Twenty-four (24) teams drawn from the Federal Unity Colleges have qualified for the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE (FLL) National Robotics Championship Competition 2021.
The teams were selected after highly competitive FLL Zonal Championships held in Lagos and Kano, respectively.
The qualified teams from the Northern Zone – Kano are: Federal Science & Technical College, Orozo, Abuja; Federal Government Boys’ College, Apo, Abuja; Federal Government Girls’ College, Bwari, Abuja; Federal Government Girls’ College, Kabba, Kogi State; Federal Government College, Kano, Kano State; Federal Government Girls’ College, Tambuwal, Sokoto State; Federal Government College Daura, Katsina State; Federal Science and Technical College, Dayi, Katsina State; Federal Science and Technical College, Michika, Adamawa State; Federal Science and Technical College, Jalingo, Taraba State; Federal Government Girls College, Bauchi, Bauchi State and Federal Government Girls’ College Jalingo, Taraba State.
Also qualified are twelve teams from the Southern Zone – Lagos are: Federal Science and Technical College, Usi-Ekiti, Ekiti State; Federal Government Girls College, Akure, Ondo State; Queens College Lagos; Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun State; Federal Science and Technical College, Awka, Anambra State and Federal Government Girls College, Lejja, Enugu State.
Others are Federal Government Girls College, Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi State; Federal Science and Technical College, Awka Ohanso, Anambra State; Federal Government College, Ikom, Cross River State; Federal Science and Technical College, Tungbo, Bayelsa State; Federal Science and Technical College, Ahoda, Rivers State and the Federal Government Girls College, Ikot-Obio Itong, Akwa-Ibom State.
The seventh edition of the FLL Championship which is organised annually by Coderina Education and Technology Foundation was carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and the Principals of 104 Federal Unity Colleges in Nigeria with supports from SAP, FIRST; National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Ford and DOW.
Coderina is an independent non-profit organisation ed-tech that works to promote ICT development, youth innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
Commenting on the project, the Director, Technology & Science Education, Federal Ministry of Education (Nigeria), Mrs. Elizabeth Adedigba, said that the objective is to expose the children to 21st Century technology and skills.
In her words, “The Ministry is aware of the fact that the world does not wait for anybody and artificial intelligence is gaining ground across sectors. The Federal Unity Colleges; being model schools, we have to start with the children to acquire the skills and boost their creative insights, innovation and team work progression such they can build it in them right from this stage.
“We are equipping them for the challenges of the future and the workplace of the future; we can’t afford to leave our students untutored along this line because we want them to be globally competitive, entrepreneurs. We want jobs to look for them; the reverse shouldn’t be the case.
“This is the way to go and the Ministry is passionate about including the Hon. Minister, Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary; that is why we are here to encourage the children.
She said that from the students’ performances, the future of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) is bright. “I am excited seeing what these children could conceive and develop with little incentives given to them. With this exposure they now look at the environment, pinpoint problems and proffer solutions. The future of this country is bright and these children will go places.
The Director also applauded Coderina “for bringing the laudable program to Nigeria. When they brought it to the Ministry we keyed in because we know it is the way to go. I thank them and they should continue the good work including the coaches that have been trained. All hands must be on deck; we are not stopping here. We shall continue until we achieve the ultimate goal. The students should not just concentrate on now rather they should be mindful of what they can carve out in the future for themselves leveraging this exposure”.
Nodding in agreement with Adedigba, the Chairperson of the Principals of 104 Federal Unity Colleges in Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs) Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, said, “The future of science and technology in Nigeria is very bright especially with what I have seen here today. You can see talents and potential in display. Our children are living up to the tasks. They have learnt robotics, coding, programming, team work, corporation, innovation and inventions. If we continue to groom them they will turn out even better.
She expressed confidence that the skills developed at this stage will assist the students to fit-in the future workplace; “not just in Nigeria, but globally”. They can design projects that will make things work faster and better across industries and homes. Some people designed the washing machine, cars, factory robots; these young talents will design better machines. They could be the ones Nigeria is waiting for to visit the space and design gadgets for our homes.
Dr. Yakubu-Oyinloye who doubles as the Director of Education & Principal, Queens College Lagos, thanked the Minister of Education Hon. Adamu Adamu; the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, the directors and the team for putting the FLL competition together.
“They have done a great job and with the support of the Principals of Federal Unity Colleges and coaches we have been able to get our students to this level. The Minister has demonstrated a passion to drive the educational sector forward.
At Coderina, Students will experience a fun and hands on learning experience🤖
— Coderina.Org (@coderina) April 28, 2021
While assessing the program, Chairman, Board of Coderina Education and Technology Foundation, Femi Niyi, Coderina, described the FLL participation over time as phenomenal.
Niyi said that educators, parents and teachers have all realized that technology has a significant role to play in today’s society and gaining fluency in the use of it has become inevitable.
Speaking further, he said, “We are in an unusual season which means we had to navigate the Zonal Championship in a very strategic way to ensure that students and their mentors are well protected from COVID- Strict observance of COVID protocols and adherence to guidelines limited the fun somewhat. We hope to continue to run the national championship in a way that ensures no one is put in harm’s way.
“The earlier stage of the season was difficult for teams due to school closures. However, with school resumption, it was easier to put the teams in one bubble where they work collectively while adhering to strict COVID prevention guidelines.
“Carrying out physical sites visits and interviews and feedback sessions with experts was a major problem reported by most teams. However, some teams devised creative ways of running virtual feedback sessions”, he said. “The support we received from the Federal Ministry of Education is unparalleled. Seeing the initiative to all Federal Unity Colleges would not have been possible without the great commitment of the leadership of the Ministry and the project managers. We are really excited to have such decent collaboration.
“The coaches”, the Chairman, said, “are helping to mold their teams for the future of work, while the students are building, designing and engineering their digital future”.
— Coderina.Org (@coderina) April 15, 2021
He added that Coderina’s readiness to partner with schools and parents to future-proof their students or wards should contact Coderina via: [email protected]
“To all child-friendly organisations out there, there’s no better way to stretch your philanthropy budget than sponsoring a school, team or child and help prepare them for the future”, he said.