Yucatecan Maya speakers achieve the impossible, but cannot travel to a national contest

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UMÁN.— A group of 13 Yucatecan students achieved the feat of winning a regional science contest and now needs help to travel to Mexico City to compete in the national stage of the First Lego Leagues Mexico, next Saturday.

Thirteen Mayan-speaking students from the Juana de Asbaje Telesecundaria 14 school located in Ekpedz, Tixcacalcupul municipality, won first place in the First Lego Leagues Mexico regional selective, in Mérida, last Saturday.

“I am very happy, since several people in the town told us that we could not, that we would not win, but today it is a reality…”, said the student Érik Elías Cocom Poot, 14 years old.

Mario Palomo Paredes, director of the school, narrated that the student team had to overcome several challenges, such as borrowing computers from other schools and people, taking courses in robotics and software.

He stressed that the first place won by the group is quite an achievement because they competed “with schools that are better technologically prepared.”

“That is why we are asking the Secretary of Education of the state government and whoever wants to support us so that children can compete at the national level,” he said.

Mayan speakers must go to Mexico City on Saturday the 11th

With their model “U Muuk’iik” (Force of the wind, in Mayan), on the generation of water and electricity by wind energy, the 13 young people won first place in regional the Innovation Project category of the eighth qualifying event of the 2022 Season -2023 of the First Lego Leagues Mexico contest that took place on Saturday the 4th in Mérida.

In the eighth selective, 60 schools from Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Veracruz competed.

Since last weekend, the 13 students of the telesecundaria have been at the home of their teacher Gilberto Uitz Pech, in Umán, for their recent participation in the competition.

“The project arises from the needs that we have in our community, which is the lack of drinking water and electricity, since when the electricity goes out, the pump does not work and we can go up to 10 hours without water; that is why we decided to propose a possible solution with wind energy through fans or vanes”, said the student Elías Dzib Pat, 13 years old.

The student Diane Aracely Dzul Paat, also 13 years old, highlighted that “with the project we want to provide a solution to what we now experience in the community of some 1,617 people, which is the lack of water and electricity, which causes insecurity and health problems.”

For his part, the student Érik Elías Cocom Poot, 14, stated that “I am very happy, since several in the town told us that we could not make it, that we would not win, but today it is a reality, in a live broadcast of the competition they saw us won.

“Now we have the illusion of traveling to Mexico City and representing our community,” he added.

“For many of us, it is the first time we have left (from Ekpedz, located about 169 kilometers from Mérida) and we want to visit various places, such as the zoo and Uxmal, because it is difficult for us to leave,” he said. “Competition gives us the opportunity to change our lives.”

Rolando Coral Martín, advisor teacher of “U Muuk’iik”, said that “we are very happy with what we obtained”.

Thank you for the help of the community

“Well, we got the pass to the national contest by overcoming four stages, which are the Innovation Project, which consists of identifying a community problem and giving it a solution; that of the Robot, which is to make a robot design; the Robot Game, which consists of completing missions, and the last one is Core Values, which is teamwork” he explained.

“Now we need to prepare for the national competition,” he said.

Mario Palomo Paredes, director of the school, narrated that “since January 25, we began working to carry out the project.

“We had to lend computers to other schools and people; In addition to having to take courses in robotics and the programs, to be able to meet all the requirements that they asked of us.

“That is why the place they obtained is an achievement, since they are from a village with few resources and they obtained their pass to the national contest, competing with schools that are better technologically prepared”, he highlighted.

“That’s why we want to thank those who supported us, but it’s still missing, because now we want to go to Mexico City, because the students have the illusion of going, since it is giving them the opportunity to know other places outside their community” he expressed.

“That is why I also want to thank the work of the parents and teachers Gilberto Uitz Pech and Rolando Coral Martín, who also undertook the task of working with them, and supporting them as necessary, because the work is exhausting, since we started from scratch and now it is a reality.

“That is why we want children to be able to travel to the national competition.

“So far we have nothing, nor has anyone approached to tell us about what will happen with the trip.

“That is why we are asking the Secretary of Education of the State government and whoever wants to support us so that children can compete at the national level.

“Any help is welcome,” said Palomo Paredes, whose phone number is 9999-474-631.

Source: Diario de Yucatan