The 13th World Robot Olympiad, jointly organized by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India and India STEM Foundation (ISF), commenced at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida today. The two day (November 26th – November 27th) event was inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Govt. of India. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Rap the Scrap’. Over 2000 students from 51 countries are participating in this international championship and will showcase innovative solutions using robotics technology to reduce, manage and recycle waste. The competition is being held for students in the 9-25 years age group in the following four categories – Regular category (Elementary, Junior High, Senior High), WRO Football, Open category and Advanced Robotics Challenge.
Encouraging the teams from across the world, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said, “Fostering innovation and creativity amongst youth is a key priority for the government and events like these are a great platform for that. National Council of Science Museums, an organisation under our ministry has been nurturing innovation and creativity through its network of science centres and Innovation hubs. Organising such an international event was very much evitable. We are happy to see so many enthusiastic teams across all age groups here. We wish them all the best and hope their skills will play an important role in addressing real world problems in the future.”
Speaking at the commencement of the event, Shri A. S. Manekar, Director General, NCSM and Chairman Advisory Board of WRO 2016 Organising Committee said, “NCSM has been advocating hands-on, minds-on approach to learning and I believe this competition will spread awareness about Robotics education and build an ecosystem of STEM based hands-on learning education in India. It will be interesting to see students finding innovative ways of designing and programming autonomous robots to complete the task in lesser time.
Shri Sudhanshu Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, India STEM Foundation said, “Since 2006, we have been playing a leading role in promoting Robotics and STEM education in India by creating such wonderful opportunities to engage students to learn real world application of core STEM (Science, Technology, engineering, Maths) concepts through the intervention of such Robotics and research based hands-on based learning platforms such as World Robot Olympiad. Over 100,000 school students have benefitted from our programs over the past 10 years. It’s a huge privilege for us to organize this international chapter of WRO at such a large scale jointly with National Council of Science Museums.”
Also speaking on the occasion, Shri Samarendra Kumar, Director (HQ), NCSM said, “It gives us immense pleasure to see participation in such huge numbers from across the globe. This year’s theme ‘Rap the Scrap’ is in line with Swachh Bharat Mission of the government. We saw some great ideas in the preliminary rounds and hope to see even better solutions in the international finals. This event will be a great showcase of our future generations’ innovative thinking abilities.”
Mr. Law King Hui, Chairman, WRO Advisory Council said, “The WRO holds a dear place in our hearts because it provides a platform for thousands of brilliant and aspiring young minds to come together and inspire one another in their attempts to address real world issues. I wish to point out the important role of robotics in the context of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, as well as 21st century skills which are globally recognised as crucial to be effective workers in the future. Applying STEM knowledge in forming concrete solutions, all the while thinking creatively and critically, with the ability to communicate and collaborate with others is the essence of WRO. The knowledge and experiences all participants worldwide have gained so far have made them winners in their own right. Winning the competition is not the most important part of their WRO journey, learning is!”
Prior to this, regional competitions were held at Delhi, Lucknow, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Chennai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Guwahati, Bangalore, Surat, Mumbai, Bhopal and Chandigarh during August-October 2016. About 245 teams qualified for the National Championship held at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata (22-23 October 2016) and 27 teams from India qualified for WRO International Championship in different categories. From other countries also, students qualified in respective National Championship will represent their countries in this International Championship where more than 463 teams from 51 countries are expected to participate. The event is supported by Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.