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Educational robotics in Cyprus is seeing rapid growth, Masouras says ahead of Robotex

The field of educational robotics in Cyprus has seen rapid growth in recent years, says Panikos Masouras, Secretary of the Board of the Cyprus Computer Society (CCS) and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Robotex Cyprus Robotics Competition.

This year the competition, that is under the auspices of President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, will take place on the weekend of 29 and 30 June at the Sports Center of the University of Cyprus.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency Masouras noted that the introduction of the Robotex competition event in Cyprus in 2017 with its many challenges has given further impetus to the field of educational robotics. 

He also noted that a large number of groups of children from Cyprus participate in the ROBOTEX International event competing with teams from countries with a long tradition in the field such as China, India, America, Italy and managing to distinguish themselves by coming first.

The Robotex competition

The Cyprus Computer Society (CCS - Cyprus Computer Society) organises the 7th ROBOTEX CYPRUS based on the rules of the ROBOTEX INTERNATIONAL World Robotics Competition. 

Co-organised by the University of Cyprus, the Youth Board Organisation and the IET - Institute Engineering Technology (Cyprus Network), Robotex Cyprus will celebrate its "7th birthday" as the largest educational robotics festival in Cyprus, as established in 2017.

The event is under the auspices of President of the Republic  Nikos Christodoulides and has been approved by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth. It is also supported by a large number of public and private sector sponsors and supporters.

Masouras told CNA that the aims of the event are to upgrade the field of educational robotics, to introduce robotics technology into the educational system, to upgrade the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) disciplines and approach to learning/teaching and to promote new forms of learning.

The Robotex Cyprus event is open to students and teachers of all public and private schools of all levels of education in Cyprus (Primary, Secondary, Secondary Technical & Vocational), students and teachers of private educational centres, tutorial centres and state training institutes, students from all universities and colleges in Cyprus, public and private, soldiers and adults with an interest in robotic technology.  

The official language of communication execution of the event is Greek. Teams from private schools where the language of instruction is English are welcome to participate in the event. For their convenience, the rules of the various challenges have also been prepared in English.

The CCS also announces its collaboration with HERO - Hellenic Educational Robotics Organisation which gives the right to implement in Robotex Cyprus challenges offered in the MRC - Minoan Robotsports Competition. The MRC is organisaed by HERO on an annual basis in Heraklion, Crete and has become international. Teams that excel in Robotex Cyprus in the MRC related challenges will have the right to participate in the MRC competition in Crete.

Rapid growth of educational robotics in Cyprus

Asked about the field of educational robotics in Cyprus, Masouras told CNA that it has grown rapidly in recent years. He expressed the view that the introduction of the Robotex competition in Cyprus in 2017 with the variety of challenges it offers has given further impetus to the field of educational robotics because children of all ages, students, parents and adults have now been given the opportunity to know the subject in a structured and organised manner on a wider scale.

This is evident, he added, by the massive participation in the competition, the large number of public and private educational organisations that have introduced the subject of robotics as part of their activities and services.

He added that there are currently more than 250 teachers and trainers of all levels that engage in the sector in Cyprus.

"A few years ago they were counted on the fingers of one hand," he said.

The upgrading of the field is not only quantitative but also qualitative, he said, and explained that  a large number of pupils' teams from Cyprus participate in the ROBOTEX International event and succeed in competing  with teams from countries with a long tradition in the field such as China, India, America, Italy and to distinguish themselves by coming first. 

Despite the successes, he said, they are continuing their efforts in cooperation with other agencies to upgrade the sector. He also referred to a series of other actions that utilise robotics for the implementation of interdisciplinary projects in the context of utilising the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) model in education.

CNA is media sponsor of the competition. 

(Source: CNA)

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