“Fly our flag higher”, PM urges students

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The Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela in a group photo session with (from left) Alex Haro (High school Principal), Rakesh Padney (Team Mentor), William Poznanski (Programmer), Tania Uale (Team’s strategist), Edward Patternot (Designer and team Captain), Renney Sufiona (Builder) and Anthony Baron (Head of School). Photo from PM Press Secretariat

“Fly our flag higher.”

THOSE were the words uttered by the Prime Minister Rick Houenipewela when he met and talked with four students from Woodford International School during the students’ courtesy visit to the Prime Minister on the eve of the students’ trip to represent the country in the 2018 Annual Global Robotics Challenge in Mexico this week.

“I’m very proud to meet you and that you have made an enormous effort through your hard work and great support in representing the country on the world stage,” PM Hou said.

Head of School, Anthony Baron stated, “Here at Woodford International School we take great pride in representing the Solomon Islands in the First Annual Global Robotics Challenge.”

Baron also stated that this global event provides an opportunity for us to showcase the skills of local students to the widest of audiences.

“Our students and staff have worked enormously hard to reach this world stage and I know that our excellent team will grasp this opportunity to further hone not only their STEM knowledge but also the wider skills of collaboration, priority setting, conflict resolution and patience,” he said.

He further reiterated that one of their most important values at Woodford is courage, “and our robotics students are already showing this in their willingness to meet the challenges of this competition with confidence”.

The Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela in a group photo session with (from left) Alex Haro (High school Principal), Rakesh Padney (Team Mentor), William Poznanski (Programmer), Tania Uale (Team’s strategist), Edward Patternot (Designer and team Captain), Renney Sufiona (Builder) and Anthony Baron (Head of School). Photo from PM Press Secretariat

Meanwhile, Team Mentor, Rakesh Pandey reiterated the need for young students in Solomon Islands to engage in the area of STEM education and Robotic.

“These technologies are leading global scientific innovation and are necessary for a peaceful and sustainable future,” he said.

Pandey believes Solomon Islands students must develop a passion for science and technology and further reiterated that schools should provide a platform to nurture their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills.

“I hope that STEM becomes central to the education in the country,” said Pandey.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister acknowledges the need for STEM initiatives to be implemented into the education curriculum of schools in the country.

“We are at the point of time where our students must be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” the Prime Minister stated.

The team have also agreed to the name Belama given to their robot by the Prime Minister.

The four Year 9 students, Edward Patternot who is the Designer and team Captain, , William Poznanski, the Programmer, Renney Sufiona the Builder, and   Tania Uale the team’s strategist, and Belama the robot are accompanied by their mentor Rakesh Padney.

“Best wishes in our participation. Fly our flag higher,” the Prime Minister said as he conveys his well wishes to the team.

–OPMC PRESS