The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) in Lagos has produced a fully operational robot during its first girls herkathon.

The Communications Officer of W.TEC, Mr Yemi Odutola, said the major objective of the herkathon was to scale up the event to become a grand tech competition.

“W.TEC’s long term plan for its herkathon is for it to be scaled into a grand tech competition where girls in groups representing their schools will compete for a grand prize in an ultimate tech fun challenge.

“The challenge will be publicised to attract and boost the appeal of hackathons for girls and W.TEC believes the event will eventually become a major year ender for girls.

“The herkathon will target secondary school mid-term break and will have sessions on robotics and tech career-talks.”

Odutola said that the herkathon recently held in Lagos rounded off with a presentation ceremony for participants to compete with the robots they had built and programmed during the hackathon for the top prize.

“The HERkathon was a two-day technology challenge and fun learning experience for girls between the ages of 11-17 years, designed for participants to enjoy workshops on robotics, technology career talks.

“The girls were made to work in teams to see who could build the best and innovative robots.

“Registration and participation in the programme was free for participants and 14 girls registered from public and private schools.”

He explained that the robotics hackathon tasked the girls in groups to build and programme industrial LEGO robots that could pick and move objects round a factory safely.

He added that the girls, upon completion of their robots, operated them before a panel of judges and the best group emerged with a fully operational robot that performed its task smoothly, while robots built by other groups performed quite as well.

He said that subsequently, members of the winning group were rewarded with attractive prizes that would keep them technologically-engaged and motivated.

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