Tech Genius Project - 2019 - SURINAME
Robotics at Staatsolie
Presenting Game Challenges - Peer Mentoring
Tech Genius Project 2019
Young Help Suriname launched the Tech Genius 2019 Suriname Project with 11 trainee students and 6 peer Mentors. All students and peer mentors are between ages 16 - 24. The trainees were selected based on their displayed dedication to learn and eagerness to be part of this project and develop Robotics skills, while the peer mentors team comprises of the students who have represented Suriname at the international Robotics Games in 2017 and 2018. Through their experience these peer mentors are able to bring a unique personal perspective and rich component into the mentorship of the project. The Peer mentors are guided by the Lead mentor, who trained the Suriname Robotics Team in 2017 and 2018.
The goal of the Tech Genius project is to empower and inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people of Suriname by implementing a training program that builds STEM application skills (mainly international level Robotics). The robot kits including manuals used are those which are approved by FIRST Global for their FGC annual international Robotics Game challenge. FIRST Global is a not-for-profit US organisation based in Virginia, USA.
By providing on the job training of 6 peer Robotics mentors the projects makes replication of the training program possible to involve more youth interested in STEM and Robotics skills development. This method ensures sustainability for subsequent training programs. The training is based on the curriculum (which was successfully implemented in 2017 and 2018) to prepare Robotics Team Suriname for the FGC games, improved with lessons learned.
Foundation Young Help Suriname (YHS), is the initiator and implementor of the Tech Genius 2019 Suriname Project. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of State, The U.S. Embassy Paramaribo, the local State Oil company (Staatsolie) and the local Telecomunications company (Telesur).
In 2017 and 2018 Suriname participated in the FGC games in Washington DC and Mexico City. In 2017 Suriname was ranked nr. 49 on the list of 163 teams from 157 countries. Landing in the top 50 was a result of hard work and dedication of a team of three young students (Ayan Jhagroe, Shayant Sital and Ivana Codrington) with no prior robotics experience. In 2018 the Suriname Robotics team, comprisng of 3 new students (Lesly Uiterloo, Joel Naarendorp and Seth Tjokrodimedjo) ranked in the list of 53 robotics with most accumulated points (above 6000 pnts), meaning 'effective designs'. Noteworhtly is that team 2017 peer mentored team 2018 under the lead mentor's guidance.
Image of project launch - February 2019
Peer mentor Ivana discussing robot components
In february 2019 YHS with her members of the Robotics Team teamed up with alumni of the Suriname-America Alumni Association (SAAA) and headed out to Powakka, an indigenous village in the interiors of Suriname to be part of a STEAM-IT fair.
The Robotics Team held an interactive presentation for about 90 pupils and triggered their interests even more with a live demonstration with a self-assembled, programmed and operated drive-bot (Robot).isit
The team also held prsentations on the open day of the Technological Faculty to incoming students.
STEM Education - Robotics in Powakka - Suriname
Tech Genius Peer mentors and Logistics Coordinator
Team manager with Tech Genius Teammembers
Lead mentor with Peer mentor Lesley
Project Manager - Ashna Mahepal
Logistics Coordinator - Shivani Jhagroe
Lead Mentor - Daniel Lachman
The students received their certificates signed by the CEO of Foundation YHS, Ashna Mahepal, and mrs. Karen Willams, US Ambassador to Suriname in Paramaribo.