The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) hosted the 1st Laguna Robot LEGOlympics 2022 held last July 15 in collaboration with FELTA Multi-Media Inc., National University-Laguna, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Laguna, and Infor.
Elementary and high school students from National University-Laguna, Alpha Angelicum Academy, Columban College-Olongapo, and Mines Elementary School participated in the event.
SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio said this is the first on-site LEGOlympics held with participants from different schools in Laguna, Metro Manila, and Olongapo.
With the theme “Farmers’ Friend,” the competition brought together 70 students and coaches “to challenge the intellectual skills and critical thinking of elementary and high school students in the field of robotics,” Gregorio said.
He explained that this aligns with SEARCA’s priority focus on engaging the youth in agriculture by demonstrating that it is exciting and profitable as a career.
“I know many parents dream of having their children become doctors or lawyers. But let me tell you that there is a future in agriculture. Let us encourage our young people to explore and appreciate this sunrise industry, especially with the advent of Agri 4.0 technologies such as robotics, drones, internet of things, sensors, and big data analytics,” Gregorio stressed.
National University-Laguna won in the High School category, while Alpha Angelicum Academy won in the Elementary category.
The winners will compete at the Philippine Robotics Olympiad 2022 to be held on 13 August 2022 at the Santa Rosa City Multi-Purpose Sports Complex. They will also have the chance to compete at the World Robot Olympiad in Dortmund, Germany in November 2022.
FELTA CEO and President Mylene Abiva said that through robotics, kids will be more interested to engage in problem-solving through critical thinking. She said if students are given the opportunity to engage in science and technology, they will more likely be attracted to science-related workforce.
FELTA Multi-Media Inc. is the sole distributor of LEGO® Education materials and robotics in the Philippines. It aims to provide the academe with instructional materials to upgrade the quality of education in the country.
During the event, SEARCA and FELTA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in undertaking projects and activities, including the exchange of scientific materials, publications, and information in the next five years.