With 971 primary and secondary school students in attendance, a robotics class in Guadalajara yesterday broke the Guinness record for the world’s largest.
The class was part of Robomath Challenge, an event being held as part of the technology and educational show Talent Land.
Students from 27 states participated in the class, in which the students worked in groups of four to program a robot that was then tested on a pre-defined path.
The Guinness World Records organization insisted on several requirements, including strict control over who had access to the class and competition, and keeping the participants free of distraction or external aid.
Federal Education Secretariat official Guillermo Rivera Aguilar observed that the Guinness representative was less than enthusiastic when he arrived, telling the organizers “not to get their hopes up . . . [because] 70% of world record attempts fail.”
In the end, he left the event “impressed,” Rivera said.
The previous record for such a robotics class was won by the Ministry of Education of Colombia with 880 students.
The federal education secretary said education authorities should be immersed in initiatives that promote robotics and mathematics among students.
Speaking of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics-oriented education program in Jalisco, Francisco Ayón López said that Mexico should “put in place an educational model that puts children in that ecosystem . . . in the present and future.”
Failing to do so is “radically wrong” because the world’s jobs are going to be related to those academic disciplines, he said.
The state Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology mentioned that Jalisco has a strong presence of related industries, and more than 600 high-profile international firms need qualified engineers.
Jaime Reyes Robles said the state is focusing not only on teaching how to assemble robot parts but to design them. Since last year, 290,000 students in primary and secondary schools have been taking robotics classes.
Come fall and the new school year, the classes will be available for preschool children, bringing the number of students to nearly half a million.
Source: El Economista (sp)