Developing countries are five steps behind technology and Guyana is no exception. In an effort to close the ever-widening technology gap in Guyana, a Robotic and Technology Exhibition was on Saturday hosted at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in an effort to educate and prepare Guyanese youth for the modern age of technology.An employee of Starr Computer explaining the operations of a drone to studentsFirst Lady Sandra Granger, who was among the patrons, highlighted the need for such a programme since it is predicted that 75 per cent of jobs will encompass the technology field in the near future.“So if the children and young people do not adapt to that idea we are going to be in a society that is always catching up and not getting there,” she told the gathering.The expo, which was sponsored by STEM Guyana, saw the participation of several senior secondary schools and was supported by the Education Ministry and the local business community, who had on display innovative and educational robotic creations.A representative from the North Ruimveldt Church Robotic under 11 Club boasted a boat made from plastic bottles among other materials to represent the potential oil boom. “The boat basically is soft powered because eventually we want to not be able to be people on an oil filled boat that can explode… the robot has a proximity sensor which moves it from oncoming obstacles and traffic.”North Ruimveldt Church Robotic under 11 Club boasted a boat made from plastic bottlesOne of the Co-founders, Caleb Christian, displayed a booth specifically designed to teach children to master programming; by creating games and animations.The young man related that his mother (Event Coordinator, Karen Abrams) saw that many persons who entered the technology field were young and did not possess any “traditional education” so she put them on ‘STEM focus” and as they got older, they decided to bring a similar programme to Guyana; STEM Guyana”. Workshops were held over the past year to educate many of the participants who successfully built their own robots to display at the exhibition.Event Coordinator and Co-Founder, Karen Abrams relayed that the expo seeks to unleash the technology potential of youths across Guyana through the implementation of various programmes, while proudly declaring that Guyana will be one of 160 countries competing in the Robotic Olympics.“One of the things we did last year was a summer camp for robot building and programming. This year we’re taking a team to Washington, DC (in the United States), to compete against 160 countries in robotics”.The team which will represent Guyana at the Robotic Olympics later this yearThe affair was a fundraiser and an education event which was implemented to not only appease the curiosity of persons who were anxious to see the robots entering the competition, but also to engage and educate the public about technology and drones.She further disclosed that the event was initially sponsored by the Guyanese Diaspora, but after sharing her idea with First Lady Sandra Granger, to enable Guyanese youth to compete like other Caribbean states and western countries, the First Lady wholeheartedly agreed. Funds were initially raised with the Diaspora and tremendous assistance was received from both governmental and non-governmental organisations. She described the event as “a public-private Diaspora local initiative to help Guyanese young people learn more about technology”.While some of exhibiting teams included students from President’s College, Bishop’s High School and St Roses, other teams comprised members of the Private Sector and business community, such as Starr Computers and Gizmos and Gadgets. The Coordinator revealed her plans to establish clubs all across Guyana in schools and community centres.Meanwhile, member of Team Guyana, Vivekenand Ramnarase, expressed his delight at being a part of the group that is set to represent Guyana at the Robotic Olympics later this year, and is optimistic that Guyana has what it takes to win. Guyana enters an H2O challenge to raise awareness against contaminating water across the thirsty planet. The team is required to build a robot that is able to harvest water and separate same from contaminants; entailing safe storage.First Global, the organisation behind the competition had provided a kit with parts for the participants, from which they are required to design and build a robot.One particular booth stuck the interest of patrons, which sought to teach students to create apps for android phones and animations. “We have a very brilliant team, we’re very diverse and dedicated and we are going to go there and even if we don’t win… but I really think that we would. We would come back as champions either way”.