Adrian Phillips-Hernaez, Ethan Cronier and Joe Allom-Perez, together known as the Cayman Islands’ first robotics team, have a lot to tell when they return to school next week after participating in the FIRST Global International Robotics Challenge on 16 - 18 August in Mexico City, Mexico. Accompanied by technical advisor Von Ryan Abrantes, physics teacher at St. Ignatius Catholic School and team manager, Glenda McTaggart, Dart Education Programmes manager the team represented Cayman amongst over 160 countries.

Team Cayman Islands ranked twenty-third overall, in points scored, out of 161 teams that participated in the competition, and 101st in match play. Both noteworthy feats as first-time FIRST Global participants. They completed eight matches, each two minutes and thirty seconds long, where they guided their robot through a series of tasks related to energy production.

While the 2018 team was selected based on members’ grades and commitment to STEM it is anticipated that Dart’s Minds Inspired programme will hold a local robotics competition to select the 2019 team. Schools in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac will be given more information as soon as it becomes available.

“I am very proud of the team’s hard work as they designed, built and programmed an exceptional robot in just over a month”, said Mrs. McTaggart. “They dedicated a significant portion of their summer vacation to perfecting their robot, and practicing the competition manoeuvres all while still getting to know each other. Adrian, Ethan and Joe were great ambassadors for the Cayman Islands during the competition as well as on the cultural experiences they had in Mexico.”

Team Cayman Islands member Adrian Phillips-Hernaez called the challenge “an amazing eye-opening experience that allowed us to embrace new cultures, people and ideas“.

“This will have a lifelong effect on me as it taught me how to collaborate with people I don’t know, as well as it enabled me to make great friends here and overseas.”, he continued. “The FIRST Global robotics competition is a memorable event for STEM enthusiasts, especially those who are willing to take part in the challenge of making a better world where science knows no borders.”