How a Nigerian entrepreneur is promoting robotics education among students
In 2014, a Nigerian entrepreneur, Kingsley Imade, was invited to the United States by RoboRAVE International, an organisation devoted to teaching students and teachers how to design, build, program and test robots to perform a variety of tasks.
According to Imade, the invitation was extended to him because of his work of promoting science-oriented competitions among students. Returning home, he was determined to promote robotics education in Nigeria. “We took two years to do our research, visiting schools,” he said. “We want teachers to know this is not a big deal by demystifying robotics education itself, and trying to let them know that they can bring it into the classroom.”
Taking the vision to the next level, the United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria partnered with Imade and RoboRAVE International to launch a workshop on Monday, 23rd October, 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria. The aim of the workshop is to engage participants in hands-on robotics activities and stimulate their interest in mathematics and science.
Speaking at the event, United States Consul General, F. John Bray, said the U.S Mission is supporting the capacity building workshop because technology aids innovative solutions, fosters collaboration and provides a platform for global partnership and economic development.
“Because it touches on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, robotics will capture the imagination of children and young adults around the world and provide a platform for global partnership and economic development. And the goal of the United States Mission to Nigeria is to support Nigeria’s economic development and education.
“In a world that’s becoming increasingly technology-driven, it’s more important than ever before for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow,” Bray said.
The Consul General also announced that the US Mission will be donating 40 robots to support the initiative geared towards promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
About 460 elementary , secondary, and university students, STEM teachers, scientists, and robotics enthusiasts are expected to participate in the workshop holding at the American Corner at Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB), Yaba, Lagos from October 23 to 25 and at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Complex, Abeokuta, Ogun State from October 26 to 28.
Russ Fisher-Ives, global director and co-founder of RoboRAVE International, said the workshop is about building a community and engaging kids to have the culture to learn. He also expressed optimism that robotics can be used to solve problems in various areas. “The agriculture industry is huge with robotics. They are using it for irrigation, planting, and levelling the ground. In medical sciences, we now have robotic surgery. Robotics is everywhere and it is changing fast,” Fisher-Ives stressed.
For Imade, it is imperative to start teaching Nigerian students the ‘language of the future.’ It is about preparing these students for their future. The future will not be the kind of future we are having now. A lot of things will be based on artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IOT).
Deji Aroloye75 Posts
a graduate of Linguistics and a staff writer at Outrepreneurs, Deji's forte includes tech, startups and innovations. Years back, Deji wrote on Entertainment and Lifestyle for a tabloid. If he wasn't a writer, Deji would be a photographer or teacher.