March 3, 2024

11 Queen’s College students depart for robotic competition in Australia

11 Queen’s College, Lagos, are set to represent Nigeria at the First Lego League (FLL) Asia Pacific Open Championship in Sydney.

The students left Nigeria on Monday for Sydney, where they would participate in a robotics challenge starting June 29.

The students had, in 2021, clinched the first position in the Robotics National Competition, which qualified them to represent Nigeria in Greece for the FLL championship

However, they could not make it to Greece because of COVID-19 restrictions there.

The students had also, in 2022, secured the 2nd runner-up position in the Robotics National Competition, which qualified them to represent the country in Brazil for the same championship, but they could not go.

Reacting to the development, the Director/Principal of the college, Mrs. Onyindamola Obabori, described the performances as outstanding.

“The girls are leaving under the aegis of Queen’s College Team Aurora, a leading advocate for promoting diversity and excellence in STEM education.

“The innovative approach of the girls to robotics and their ability to adapt to changing circumstances truly set them apart from their peers.

”I expect that these girls will come back with at least one award. This is to know that we mean business here, in Queen’s College,” she said.

The principal expressed satisfaction with the qualification.

“This development is giving me great feelings. I am excited.

“This is because the girls had qualified for the competition in Greece and Brazil, but due to one reason or the other, funds constraints especially, they could not attend,’’ the principal said.

According to her, the feats not only inspire future generations of young women in STEM but also serve as a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion in the field of robotics.

She said that in view of the successes of the girls in robotic championships, she approached corporate bodies and the alumni association of the college for support.

“I contacted old girls of the college and they took it over and did a massive campaign for funds to facilitate the travel, and that is where we are today.

“We also got assistance from corporate bodies. They all made it happen, and I am very happy about that,” she said.

The principal told NAN that the students would also compete in cultural displays at the event.

Obabori called on other stakeholders to join hands with governments in supporting and promoting science and technology.

“I think that we are far behind other countries in terms of science and technology.

“When other countries were talking about science, we were not talking about it. By the time we decided to wake up or develop to that level, they moved to technology.

“ I want us to increase our pace and be at par with the world in terms robotics and coding. All hands must be on deck,” the principal said.

The Head of the delegation, Mrs Temitayo Okunoren-Makindipe, who is the Second Vice President of Queen’s College Old Girls Association, said that she took up the fundraising role to ensure the utilisation of the competition opportunity.

“I decided to take up the role of fundraising and project manager for Queen’s College Team Aurora for this trip to Australia. This is not the first time they are qualifying.

“Funding has been one of the challenges in seeing their dream through to the international stage.

“As an engineer, I want to encourage the girls, and God has blessed the efforts,” she said.

According to her, about 50 teams drawn from various parts of the world, including Korea, America, and Japan, are expected to participate in the championship.

She expressed optimism that the students would succeed.

She said that 10 of the students would actively participate in the championship, while one of them would observe.

The Captain of Team Aurora, Miss Damilola Ekundayo, said that the team was fully prepared to make Nigeria proud.

The captain said that she was hopeful of the team’s success in the four-day championship to begin on June 29.

“We will showcase who we are as a people (Nigerians),” Ekundayo said.

(NAN)

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