Mar. 07, 2018


Following many months of preparation and work, the Robotics Team from BGU's Jusidman Science Center for Youth took first place in the national robotics competition (First Tech Challenge FTC)) and will soon represent Israel at the World Championships in Robotics in Houston, United States.

The team defeated 40 teams from around the country and took the prestigious award (Inspire Award) testifying to their excellence in all aspects - robot function, group professionalism, knowledge and values.

Above: The Jusidman team after their victory (photo: FIRST ISREAL)

The group "Mish Mash #12016" group" from BGU's Jusidman Center has taken part in competitions for the past three years and is made up of 15 pupils from grades 9-12 from the Beer-Sheva area and the south. The diverse group is characterized by high technological capability, creativity, commitment and the determination to succeed. In the competition held in Haifa, the group contended with various technological challenges integrating creativity, engineering skills and teamwork. The focus of the competition was designing and building a robot whose aim was to arrange blocks on tracks, balance them on an unstable surface and move an object over a boundary in the shortest possible time.

The group is mentored by Dr. Tsiona Elkayam from the Jusidman Center and by two alumni of BGU's Department of Mechanical Engineering  - Aviad Ben Zaken and Galit Malca along with four additional volunteers. The team members do not intend to rest on their laurels and are already preparing for the international competition in mid-April. As part of the tight and intense schedule in the run-up to the competition, the team members are focusing on the development of the robot to overcome the challenges presented to the group in the competition and on raising funds to be able to travel to and participate in the competition.

This is not the first achievement by the team; last year they took fourth place in the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge held in Washington DC among 160 delegations from around the world. 

The team captain, Niv Peretz, said: "We had an amazing competition, it was sporting and full of great experiences. We are very proud of our achievements, in the robotics field and winning the Inspire award, and aim to succeed in the World Championships.

Group mentor, Galit Malca, said: "This year we set ourselves an unusual target - to compete at international level and to be the best. We passed one of the hurdles when we won the National Championship, now we're looking forward and thinking about all the improvements we can make to bring us closer to our target.

Above: The Jusidman team during the competition (photo: FIRST ISRAEL)

The Jusidman Science ​Centre for Youth coordinates all the youth activities at BGU. The Center offers a variety of activities for youth, ranging from one-time meetings to in-depth programs for outstanding students. The Center operates in the belief that high-quality science study at the highest level with a focus on excellence, encourages young people to continue in these fields in the future, to tie their future to academic studies at University and to be role models and a leading and quality group in the community.

The group's activities and its travel to competitions is made possible thanks to the participation and support of the University President Prof. Rivka Carmi; the Daniel Jusidman Family Foundation; Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich; Beer-Sheva Deputy Mayor Dr. Heftzi Zohar who also holds the portfolios in education and welfare,; the Excellent Negev program of the Negev Development Authority, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee and the Rashi Foundation.