Hearing the name Mexico mentioned probably brings many different things to mind – large hats, delicious and spicy food, and a natural scape filled with odd, needly plants called cacti. But that image needs updating because Mexico is an optimistic and forward looking country with a booming Maker culture.
Just this year, robotics education was made a national priority by Mexico’s government and the first national robotics competition, titled ROBOMATH, is now being held in primary schools and secondary school across 32 states. Starting in late May and lasting over 5 months until terminating with the finals in October, the aim of competition is to promote robotics as a fun and exciting entry way into the world of science and technology through hands on experience.
With over 600,000 students already having taken part in the competition it is beyond a success and has become Mexico’s top science and technology competition for students.
In Jalisco, one of the economically most important states in Mexico, Makeblock is the designated robotic equipment provider for all preliminary contests, rematches and finals of ROBOMATH. With Makeblock’s programmable robots for education, students are able to sharpen their skills in mathematics and programming by competing with other teams in their abilities in making their robots follow lines, avoid obstacles, wrestle, and more.
In order to help students prepare for the competition, Makeblock’s local partner has visited more than 240 schools to provide training to students who don’t have prior experience working with robotics or programming, before the start of ROBOMATH.
On July 15th, at the second round of ROBOMATH, Aristoteles Sandoval, Governor of the state of Jalisco and Francisco Ayón, the Secretary of Education of Jalisco, presented and opened the event.
Stating that, “The state of Jalisco is fulfilling its goal of becoming a leader in technology education in Mexico, as we need a higher number of engineers to maintain our competitiveness in within the global economy. The best way to achieve this is to learn English, mathematics and technology-related skills through educational robotics.”
It became clear that Sandoval and Ayon are true Makeblock fans as they personally assembled and test-flew the Airblock later in the day.
Students, too, were brimming with excitement at ROBOMATH Jalisco. Oscar Chavez, a contestant and high school student, first caught interest in robotics in junior high school. Saying that “It’s not that complicated to make a robot and it can achieve a lot of features,” Oscar exemplified how Makeblock platforms help students build skills and confidence in their abilities.
Coverage from local media outlets including El Informador, an independent newspaper, and Guadalajara TV was celebratory of the potential of ROBOMATH and its ability to spark interest among students for subjects that are commonly seen as complicated and inaccessible to most.
At Makeblock we are proud to be able to say that our one-stop education solutions are now used by over 2 million users in 140 countries and are one of the major factors in the spread of STEM skills among students globally. This is no doubt thanks to our strengths in R&D, an area that we are continuously investing in and continue to develop technology for advanced, integrated learning solutions.