Thursday, June 27, 2013

RiSE 2013 Facebook Competition

 Do you know of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF) and her annual event dubbed RiSE? Well, RiSE means Robotics Inspired Science Education and its mission is to inspire and energize teachers, middle, high and college school students in Ghana to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by using the motivational effects of robots to connect theory with practice.

The Ghana team at World Robot Olympiad 2012

This year, RiSE 2013 is scheduled to start in September with two awesome challenges; Multi Grain Sorting and Autonomous Rescue. The event will be held at four different centers across the country: Tamale, Kumasi, Accra and Cape Coast. The theme for RiSE 2013 is "Cultivating a Culture of Excellence."

On July 1st 2013, a RiSE 2013 monthly competition (ends September 30th) will commence on GRAF's facebook page as a warm up to the main event.

There will be a GH₵50.00 per month for the winner.  Remember you need to get your friends to "like" your answer. So get as many  friends to "like" GRAF's facebook page so they can "like" your answer.

Who will be crowned the winner in July, it could be you. If you don't enter you cannot win so go for it.

Below are the competition details.

RiSE 2013 Competition Questions:
1. In no more than twenty-five (25) words tell us what excellence means to you.
2. In no more than twenty-five (25) words tell us what Ghana would look like if every worker pursued excellence at work.

1. The winning entry per month (July, August and September) shall receive 50 GHS and a certificate.
2. The two (2) runner up entries shall receive a certificate.

Competition Rules:
1. Participants must be residents of the Republic of Ghana.
2. Participants must be full time students and 9 to 19 years old.
3. Entries shall be made via the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF) Facebook page without exception.
4. There is no limit to the number of entries per participant.
5. Each entering shall have answers to both questions.
6. An entering with an answer to only one (1) question shall be considered incomplete and be disqualified.
7. The competition is a monthly competition, i.e. entries are made for a particular month’s competition.
8. The competition will run in July, August and September of 2013.
9. Entries from previous month’s competition can be resubmitted to the following month’s competition.
10. A winner shall be selected from each month’s entry.
11. The judges shall select the winning entry each month (July, August, and September) from the top 5 entries with the most “likes” (votes) from Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation Facebook page.
12. The judges decision is final and cannot be appealed.
13. GRAF reserves the right to change the rules of the competition at anytime.
14. By entering the competition you agree that the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation can use your name and photo in …. promotional materials. As part of this Agreement, the undersigned hereby
15. By entering the competition you permit Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation to use, in whole or in part, photographs, videos, written extractions, and voice/performance recordings for educational, promotional, and/or athletic purposes in GRAF publications, press releases, videos, and web sites.

I Have A RaspberryPi!

I have been silent here for a while, sorry, school wasn't fun anymore; exams, project presentations and documentation et al. Thanks be to the Creator, all is over. My final semester has really taught me lessons and challenged me to do things I once dreamed of. Yes, I have awesome dreams. :)

I once told my friends I wanted to study electronics and build robots (I have always wanted to build a robot), they badly pulled my legs. That did not stopped me, I kept a lot of dreams to myself and shared not with them. I knew someday these dreams will be materialised. At Barcamp Takoradi 2010, I met the TTI Fab Lab and lo and behold, the journey for the search of knowledge on electronics begun.

My last days in school, CapeVars was magical. I cried sometimes. I had a tall list of projects and did not  know which to do and where to start. I discussed these with lecturers and friends and finally settled on an arduino-based temperature monitoring system with SMS capabilities (using Falcom Samba75 GSM modem). I went in for this because of the arduino! I wanted to know what/how it is and works. And whiles I worked on my project, I did tried out other basic stuffs.

On submission of my final year project, I was promised a Raspberry Pi in return of the  arduino kits I used. I got excited, but never knew what followed. I had to present a real project idea, make sketches and prove what it  is, uses and what I hope to learn from it. I failed on the first presentation, I was not well convincing. I could not just say the type of processor the RasPi uses, upon all the weekend reading and study. I guess I had to much on my mind.

Yesterday, I got up fully prepared with less #vim to get the RasPi. I missed the set time and had to wait for 6:00pm to show up. At 6:30pm, "So what do you intend to do with it, what do you have?" the first question went. A sudden dumbness struck me, I managed to say a few things about the board and the projects. In a blink of an eye, I saw a blue box with the inscription "MAKE: kits for the maker in all of us", a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit from makershed?  There I remembered something he said on the first bid, "I got no one to give it to, you have to prove a reality in your concepts". "Hope you know the worth of this? It is expensive, it's not just the board, it contains many things to get you started, here you are, all the best." Silence griped me as I stretched out my hands for the box. "You have to update me on whatever you do with it. In two (2) months time, I expect a report. All the best in Kenya!, Good bye."

I just did not believed what had happened till I got home. The MAKE: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit costs around US$125.00. The box had everything without an SD card and one of the locks for the MAKE: Pi Enclosure was missing. I had decided to do something over the night, all plans had to come to a halt  cos I had no SD card. I am going for one today and start the hacking and tinkering.

I just do not know what to do, all I say is thank you, Dr. Farahmand, you are a real gem. I am not going to rest on my oasis, I will do my best to get the best out of this gift.