The LYBOTICS robotics program is currently gaining momentum on the International stage securing major sponsorship to support the talented children taking part in the project. Part of this support has enabled the first-of-its-kind robotics tournament, The Tripoli Regional Tournament taking place on the 9-10th of April 2021. Indeed, this event is set to shed a well-deserved spotlight on our young engineers, as well as uniting children across Libya’s diffracted regional systems.
Causing much excitement, the two-day Tripoli Regional Tournament is part of the FIRST® Tech Challenge, a global robotics competition powered by companies such as Disney, NASA, and LEGO. Founded in 1989, the FIRST® non-profit has aimed to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. This robotics community has grown to 660,000+ students who are supported by a staggering 300,000+ volunteers spread across 110 countries.
Moreover, these FIRST® Game Changers have eagerly recognized the Libyan arm of their network, welcoming LYBOTICS’ robotics teams and qualifying tournaments with open arms. As it stands LYBOTICS has recruited an impressive four hundred students spread over 27 teams within Libya, and 127 mentors, coaches, judges, and volunteers since its launch in 2018. Well-received in communities across Libya, the LYBOTICS program has also gained major sponsorship from local companies, happy to help give both girls and boys all over the country a safe place to learn and play.
Uniting Libya’s children, uniting a divided Libya
The tournament in Tripoli is made even more poignant by the fact children in Libya now live very insular lives within their regions. Under Gaddafi’s rule, the division and splintering of districts and tribes were promoted to maintain power over the Libyan people. Sadly, the years of civil war that ensued after the revolution have only served to widen the breach between the people of Libya even further. For this reason, Libya’s children currently live isolated lives, unaware of the many rich traditions in other areas of their country, traditions they no longer see as their own.
One of the major aims of this tournament is to bring Libya’s children out of confinement and into each other’s lives, to interact with each other, and to rediscover their vibrant history and extensive culture, now provincially segregated and hidden. Undoubtedly, for the past three years, the LYBOTICS program has been gently and slowly reintroducing the country’s children to the fascinating world that still exists outside of their restrained surroundings.
Here at LYBOTICS, we are honored to announce that many companies and organizations have unreservedly agreed to help make this happen.
Sponsors who support and believe in Libya’s children
For instance, the Assaray Trade and Investment Bank (ATIB) have supported this novel project from the very beginning. They helped to launch the whole program by donating 23 full robotics kits, enabling children across the country to learn practical scientific skills, helping to take them out of their conflict-sodden surroundings and into a brighter future.
Likewise, support for the tournament has been overwhelming with additional sponsorship coming from Mersin, home to the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturer Gree and Hommer, the household name for white goods in Libya. The company has kindly donated media and sound equipment for the event which will unite children from every region within Libya.
Generous grants from USAID have also provided media materials, projectors, robotics and IT equipment, and food for event participants over the two days. A wonderful gesture from the United States government.
In another show of support for the children, The Student Activities Department of The Libyan Ministry of Education has agreed to partner with LYBOTICS. The ministry has generously agreed to provide the stunning Cortoba Hall free of charge as a venue. Additionally, they will also arrange logistical support, which includes security and alerting police to the event who will clear traffic and secure the venue for the children. The ministry also plans to help expand the program for more schools next season and has kindly invited the Minister of Education to open this groundbreaking event. Certainly, all of the aforementioned is a sure sign of the positive changes set to happen in Libya.
What will happen at this ground-breaking event
The tournament, which will stream live on various platforms, starts at 9 am with the teams decorating their pits and performing any last-minute adjustments to their robots in the robot hospital. Standards are very stringent here with official inspections from judges ensuring that the robots follow the guidelines set by the FIRST® Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL global tournament.
When the inspections are finished the opening ceremony will begin with speeches and fun performances for the children, after which the matches begin. The drivers from the regional-based teams will meet each other and have lunch together to inspire teamwork, and promote a sense of fellowship between the children. It is in this way the teams from different parts of Libya, can relax and have fun together with regional differences melting away into the background. This is why the tournament is so important bringing children from all over fractured Libya, traversing the many chasms caused by years of civil war.
Day two brings another mind-blowing experience filled with technical brilliance. Equally important, the opening ceremony will involve the Libyan national anthem and traditional songs from the children’s regions. The children will celebrate each other and their communities, united as one Libya after the teams have checked in and official inspections are complete. This is because enjoying each other’s traditions, as well as their abilities, is one of the main objectives of the Tripoli Regional Tournament.
The road to the global robotics stage is set for our children
After the opening festivities, the elimination matches will begin with the winning team set to represent all of Libya’s regions in the FIRST® Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL global tournament. Here, the children will meet some of the top robotics experts and teams in the world, further enhancing their knowledge and STEM experience. In turn, it is this experience they can then take back to the LYBOTICS program, benefiting all participants. It certainly looks like season two will be full of even more amazing feats of innovation, we can hardly wait!
The two-day Tripoli Regional Tournament will take place at the Cortoba Hall, Tripoli on the 9-10th of April. The event will be live-streamed on Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Please be sure to watch the LYBOTICS site for the recorded action after the event.