A team of talented teenagers from Young Engineers Uganda has made history in Africa by winning the GIRLS POWERED Badge of Honor for fielding more girls than boys on its team at the ongoing Vex World Robotics Championship in Dallas USA.
Team Uganda made history as the first cohort to qualify for the Dallas, Texas world event that features the most brilliant young robotics enthusiasts in the world. They are pitted against the rest of the countries that constitute over 2000 participants who were sieved from over 28,000 entrants.
They are representing Uganda at the prestigious Vex World Robotics Championships.
What sets this team apart is their remarkable achievement of fielding more girls than boys, earning them special recognition and a special badge from the organizers.
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In a letter addressed to the founder of Young Engineers Uganda, the organizers of the Vex Worlds Championships congratulated Team Uganda for their qualification and highlighted their team composition of at least 50% girls, which they called “GIRLD POWERED1.” The team has been invited to spend part of their lunch break with the organizers at the Opportunity Division in D Hall at Kay Bailey on April 26, 27, 28, May 1, or May 3, during the championship.
The team from Young Engineers Uganda consists of four girls and three boys, along with their three dedicated instructors. They secured Uganda’s fourth position on the African continent during the Pan African Robotics competition in Dakar, Senegal last year, earning them the invitation to participate in the World Robotic Championship in the United States.
Young Engineers Uganda, a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education program of the African School of Innovations Science and Technology (ASIST) Ltd, was founded in 2016 by journalist Arinaitwe Rugyendo. The program aims to nurture the next generation of Ugandan scientists, technologists, creative thinkers, and problem solvers using a robotics and LEGO curriculum, endorsed by the European Commission of the European Union.
“We are extremely proud of our team’s achievement in fielding more girls than boys for the Vex Worlds Championship,” said Maureen Karamagi, CEO of Young Engineers Uganda and head of the delegation.
“Our mission is to empower and equip children in Uganda with practical implementation skills in STEM from a young age, and this achievement is a testament to our commitment to promoting gender equality in the field of robotics,” says Allen Nanyonjo, Team Uganda Head Coach.
The Vex World Robotics Championships will see participation from over 50 countries and over 2,200 teams from all over the world, making it a truly global event that brings together the brightest young minds in the field of robotics. The Ugandan team will be competing in the VEX IQ category, themed “Slapshot,” where they will work collaboratively in alliance with another team to score points using their robot that can slap or shoot discs into goal zones.
The participation of the Ugandan team opens up a wide range of opportunities, including scholarships and visits to renowned institutions such as NASA, Apple, Google, Tesla, and many more, says Veteran Journalist and Foung of Young Engineers Uganda, Arinaitwe Rugyendo.
Team Uganda consists of the following members:
Lowena Mwiza Rugyendo (14) – Viva College School, Jinja
Liam Mukisa (12) – Mengo Secondary School
Ciara Nyamate Bwesigye (13) – Taibah International School
Pearl Ayebale (12) – Kampala Standard Primary School
Celline Nyonyozi Bwesigye (11) – Taibah International School
Samuel Kazoora (11) – The Hungry Caterpillar International School
Aleem Mangalji (9) – The Forest School Online
Young Engineers Uganda is proud to have such a diverse and talented team representing Uganda at the Vex Worlds Championships, and they are determined to make their mark on the global stage with their passion for robotics and commitment to gender equality in STEM.