Post by: Rubi Balami, Team RukuBot Member

The First Global International Robotics Olympics has proven to be one of the greatest opportunities for not only Team RukuBot, but for Team Nepal at Rukmini Foundation. This will be the first time that students from this area will be participating in a global competition. After completing the final design of our Robot, we had a great opportunity to demonstrate our progress in front of some very high level officials in Nepal. We were invited to meet with Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Education Minister, Mr. Gopal Man Shrestha at Singh Darbar in Kathmandu.

The team members, our team mentor, Satish Aryal, our school principal, Vinod Mahat along with Shashi Sharma Aryal, Chairperson of Rukmini Foundation, and Shyam Bahadur KC, coordinator of Shikharapur Community Learning Center went together for this visit.

Facing the Traffic in the scorching Sun, we arrived at Office of Education Ministry, Singha Darbar at 12:30 PM. Our Robot was with us, and everyone was so curious to know about the Robot. They wanted to touch it, feel it, and see it work. At the meeting with the Education Minister, we were able to demonstrate what our robot does, and what the challenge we were trying to solve.

Our team in front of the Ministry of Education

Our Education Minister conveyed that the First Global Challenge and the work we have started is a grand opportunity for the development in the sector of Science and Technology in a developing country like Nepal. He offered his congratulations and best wishes for Team RukuBot to represent Nepal.

We were so proud to be interviewed by major media in Nepal.

After a short meeting and the Robot demonstration with the Minister, we were interviewed by Annapurna Post and National Television. Being on National Television and seeing our work on the front page of a renowned national newspaper makes us happy, and also it makes us feel even more responsible for this upcoming competition.

Demonstrating our robot in front of such high level officials was a matter of pride for all of us. Not only meeting these dignitaries, but also hearing the best wishes and congratulations for the success of our team was so inspiring. We are even more confident about this project now.
What is even more important is that we wanted to show that this type of project can be valuable to students, and how there are not sufficient plans or policies to improve the quality of science and technology education in community and government schools. In schools like ours, there is no modern equipment to be able to conduct projects like this. We were only able to accomplish what we have done so far with the help of Rukmini Foundation and First Global.

We are so proud to be a part of STEM family, and because of this project and our visit, we believe that our Education Minister and other high-level government officials came to realize the possibility and necessity for providing robotics education to the students from an early age. They have seen with their own eyes what students like us (from public and community schools) can do with some guidance. We hope that they understand the importance of providing opportunities to all people, whether they are from the rural area or belongs to a poor and deprived family or from any ethnicity, race, and gender. We hope that our work and our visit will inspire policy to focus on  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education in our country.

Rubi

This visit was totally new for us. We are not used to getting this type of opportunity to meet with important officials. However, due to this project, we have learned so much and have been able to interact with so many others. We are representing ourselves, our schools, our communities, and our country of Nepal. So many people have hope for us, and it motivates us to make this competition successful for everyone who is participating along with us.

Rubi Balami

Member, Team RukuBot

About Satish Aryal

Satish is a Professional Engineer by trade, but has a lot of experience working with NGOs in Nepal. Satish is lending his expertise in Science / Engineering to mentor the young students who are taking part in the FIRST Global International Robotics Olympics.

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