Lagos State Government through the STEAM UP initiative led by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Adetola salau and the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the US Consulate introduced Drone Soccer to fast-growing Techprenuers in Alimosho, Agege and Ipaja. The program, the first of its kind in Africa, was launched in Education District 1 of Lagos State.
Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate in Lagos during his remark said the focus is on youths because the goal is to ignite the interest at a young level and underserved school districts where students have interest but may not have access to such opportunities, saying “Science is Exciting” and not all about learning tech theoretically.
Drone soccer is a thrilling indoor team sport played with radio-controlled quadcopters in protective exoskeletons designed for collisions. In other words, Drone Soccer is a sport played with small drones that are safely enclosed in protective plastic spheres (“drone soccer balls”).
The competition comprised of 8 teams with 8 members each. They were tasked to build, program, fly and repair drones for competition. The Pacesetter team, Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School emerged winners in the competition.
The winning team will travel to the US to represent Nigeria in an international drone soccer tournament in 2022, whereas the 2nd and 3rd teams will receive up to 1500 dollars for STEM Labs in their school.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) among Nigerian students and newly added ART, initiated to help the young ones get ready for the “future of work” and compete globally. The initiative trained 50 teachers and 500 students. While students were trained in solar panel assembly, drone technology, weather balloon technology, cell phone and laptop repair, AI and coding video games, the teachers were equipped to become better/ more effective facilitators.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Agboyomi Abolaji said “this is just like a gateway to the broader participation of all districts and students and with what I see here, it is going to be embraced by other districts and students”.
The winning team, Pacesetter coach and participants expressed their gratitude to the Lagos State Government and the US consulate for the initiative cum sponsorship