Basseterre: St. Kitts, February 8, 2021: On February 4th, the St. Kitts- Nevis Robotics Association (SKNRA) held its first year anniversary and awards ceremony at the Immaculate Conception Catholic School’s hall.
In his address to the gathering, Executive Director of the SKNRA, Mr. Shaqueed Benjamin, outlined the goals of the Association, as they aim to advance the nation’s youths in the Science and Technology Field globally. He stated “the association strives to offer young people the opportunity to expand their horizons through exploration of robots and the robotic system…and encourage them to become future scientists, engineers, developers and inventors”.
The St. Kitts- Nevis Robotics association was “born out of research and development” and is currently “number 1 amongst the member states of the OECS” and the wider Caribbean region, says Dr Ricardo Neil, Founder and Chairman of the Association. Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020, Dr Neil expressed that the SKNRA had the largest team (30 members) that entered the first global Robotics Olympics in 2020. He attributed this to their ability to remain focused and not be distracted by the obstacles of 2020, but rather, they were able to use those obstacles as opportunities to “redefine and reinvent” themselves.”
Congratulatory remarks were extended to the SKNRA by Minister of Education Honourable Jonel Powell, who declared that the Robotics Association “has the Midas touch.” With focus on the legacy that the Association is currently building, Minister Powell pointed out that the Association is “clearly making an indelible mark, not just in the Federation, not just in competition, but in the region as a leader” as he revealed a significant relationship that the SKNRA has forged with the University of West Indies (UWI) Five Island Campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
Echoing congratulations to the SKNRA on their anniversary celebration, Minister responsible for Health, Information and Communication Technology, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development, Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, commended the organisation for expanding its influence beyond the CFBC students to integrate students within the Primary and Secondary sectors of education. Minister Byron-Nisbett, expressed how beneficial a partnership with the SKNRA will be to the national growth as the Federation “moves towards a digital economy”.
She further stated that the SKNRA can be seen as “a launch pad to a new industry that is being envisioned”. Minister Byron-Nisbett then pledge her ministry’s unlimited support to the Association, as she encouraged the members to use the opportunity to harness their skills, develop their critical thinking skills and innovation, so as to effect positive global change.