VISAKHAPATNAM: Andhra Achievers, a group of 11 students from Andhra University English Medium School, became the first in the State and youngest team from the country to take part in the FIRST Tech Challenge India Championship held in Pune from March 10 to 12.
The Championship aims to inspire young people to be innovators in the field of science and technology by engaging them in mentor-based programmes that build science, engineering, and technology skills. Under the programme, the Class X students were trained for a year in tech skills like Onshape, coding and machine learning. Experts from the US took sessions twice every week. Following this, the 15-year-old students built a robot to solve tasks during the programme.
As many as 60 national teams from Pune, Chennai, Gujarat and Vrindavan, along with 11 international teams, participated. The Vizag team bagged 28th rank and were presented the STEM Young Achievers Award for 2023.
“It has been a great experience to be a part of the Championship. When we started our journey, we had no knowledge about robotics, but by the end of it we built a robot. Competing against students who have participated in the championship before was challenging,” Jashwanth, a member of Andhra Achievers, expressed.
On his experience with international teams, he said, “The teams we competed against built robots bigger than ours. However, during the programme we had a chance to work with them.”
The students also faced issues with internet connectivity, computers, and language barriers while interacting with mentors, he added and explained, “We were selected for the programme through a competition held at school. It helped us recognise our strengths, besides teaching us time management and team work. We developed an interest in robotics, too.”
Programme in-charge Malathy expressed happiness for her students’ achievement at such a young age.