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National youth robotics competition aims to empower and inspire next generation

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A new to Windsor national robotics competition for youth took place this weekend at the University of Windsor where 16 teams of students aged 6-10 showed off what they’ve learned over the last three months.

The event was put by Genio-Tech Robotics, a locally owned and family operated educational robotics center dedicated to disseminating knowledge about STEM and robotics on a global scale.

“Coding and programming is very embedded in our system right now,” said CEO Peri El Sayed. “Especially after COVID. We've seen the importance of robotics and how they helped us during that phase. So that's exactly how we want our children to think, so they think critically out of the box and know how to solve problems.”

The event saw students compete in robotic soccer and sumo matches using devices they designed, coded, and built on their own.

El Sayed said the goal of the competition was to empower and inspire local youth to actively participate in the forefront of modern, cutting-edge technology while fostering their creativity, innovation, and unique individuality.

“The joy of having the knowledge spread out and having the kids actually be confident, because part of this competition too, they get to present their ideas. They get to actually promote themselves,” El Sayed said.

El Sayed explained, “So we're not only focusing on teaching them robotics and coding, but we're focusing on bringing that management and team leadership skills out there too.”

She continued, “As we all know, the importance of technology right now… coding and the aspect of having that embedded in our generation right now, we want our kids to actually understand and go forward with it.”

El Sayed said the winners of the “Robotourney Robotics Competition for Youth” will advance to the finals in California later this month, before another Robotourney event returns to Windsor in March.

“We're expecting teams from the Middle East, from North Africa, from Dubai as well. So the numbers over there are definitely going to be much bigger than today.”

Genio-Tech founder, Ahmed Zaky, told CTV News they want to prepare younger generations for the future.

“We teach kids the curriculum and the how to build robots, code it and stuff like this, and then participate in a competition,” Zaky said. “We organize this event and we accept teams from Genio-Tech and from other schools if they want to join to showcase their work.”

He said rather than teaching youth how to use technology, they hope to inspire youth to create technology.

“This is like the beginning of AI, they start programming robots how to work on itself, and think smartly and how to search for the other robots and go fight for it,” said Zaky.

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