SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, today announced that it has become the global technology partner of the World Robot Olympiad™ Association (WRO®), a non-profit organization that focuses on the hands-on development of robotics within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education on a worldwide scale. In a multi-year agreement, Juniper will work closely with WRO to promote, stage and further develop this global competition that attracts tens of thousands of young people.
As part of its involvement in the competition, Juniper will be sponsoring a new trophy at this year’s finals, WRO 2018, known as the Juniper Networks’ Engineering Simplicity Honors Award. Juniper will judge teams in the Regular category at the finals, across all age groups, on the boldness, creativity and simplicity of their robot-led solutions. Overall, the WRO competition encourages participating teams to solve challenges and complex problems using mathematics, computer programming and coding skills, as well as exploring the principles of automation. It also fosters other important life skills including teamwork, perseverance, learning from mistakes and creative thinking.
Juniper is currently sponsoring a short documentary film looking at the human stories behind some of the teams and their paths to WRO 2018. The company is working in conjunction with the accomplished filmmaker and director James Redford, who is renowned for making documentary films that focus on personal, solution-based stories addressing vexing social and environmental challenges.
- Each year, at least 23,000 teams from more than 70 countries take part in WRO’s competition. This involves approximately 100,000 young people, ranging from six to 25 years old.
- The competition comprises several categories across the age group span, including Regular (a themed category), Open (to drive innovation and creativity), a robotic football tournament, an Advanced Robotics Challenge for students aged 19-25, and WeDo, a starter class for children aged 6-10.
- Country heats roll up to a national final, with the winners going forward to the global finals.
- The competition focuses on a specific theme that is relevant to a prevailing global issue – this year it is Food Matters. Challenges are tailored specifically to the theme, enabling competitors to develop ambitious, yet simple, automated solutions.
- WRO, founded in 2004, hosts the Finals in a different country each year. In 2018, the global finals will be in Chiang Mai, Thailand (November 16-18) and they will take place in Hungary in 2019.
“In WRO, we see robotics as a wonderful platform for giving young people around the world an opportunity to be hands-on with STEM. We see the teams adopt new technology when developing fully autonomous robots and they apply engineering processes when designing prototypes before completing the challenges. They quickly get absorbed in coming up with original solutions to complex problems.
“Bringing Juniper Networks on board as a global premium partner enables us to tap into its heritage and experience as an engineering and automation pioneer. Juniper will provide practical support and inspiration for young people as they embark upon their STEM-driven journeys toward fulfilling careers.”
– Claus Ditlev Christensen, secretary-general at World Robot Olympiad Association Ltd.
“My work is all about finding and telling inspiring stories that show the best in people. When I heard about WRO’s competition from Juniper, the talent, passion and commitment of so many young people truly excited me. Many teams come from challenging backgrounds with less-than-ideal education provision, so their achievements are all the more impressive. It is also great to be working with a technology innovator like Juniper to help the next generation think about their STEM education in such a creative way.”
– James Redford, film and documentary maker
“In the digital age, networks are the lifeblood of every community, every government and every economy. Automation has become a key enabler of such technology, functioning alongside humans to create and operate networks that can scale, flex and protect, dynamically adapting in nanoseconds to deliver rich services. Ironically, a pressing shortage of skilled technologists is likely to increase even more in the future, putting at risk the potential of intelligent networks.
“It is imperative that the upcoming generations understand the importance of automation – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, virtualization – in order to take technology forward into their future. Juniper Networks is proud to be the global technology partner of the WRO Finals in 2018 and beyond, as it is the perfect nurturing environment for tomorrow’s automation innovators.”
– Mike Marcellin, chief marketing officer at Juniper Networks
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Juniper Networks simplifies the complexities of networking with products, solutions and services in the cloud era to transform the way we connect, work and live. We remove the traditional constraints of networking to enable our customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure networks that connect the world. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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