From 27 June to 18 September, Mauritian youth have worked together in the FIRST Global Challenge, innovating solutions to strengthen their communities through STEM.
From social projects to miniature satellites to robot design, the non-profit FIRST Global is launching its latest season for teenagers from around the world, this year to develop solutions to problems the COVID-19 pandemic presented. FIRST Global, which ignites a passion for STEM in youth worldwide to inspire the next generation of problem solvers and innovators, announced the start of the 2021 FIRST Global Challenge — the fifth iteration of its global Olympics-style robotics event.
This year’s theme, “Discover & Recover,” focuses on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic by discovering opportunities for innovative recovery.
Over the past year, we have seen that science, technology, engineering and mathematics have provided critical answers, including homemade ventilators built by the FIRST Global female robotics team the Afghan Dreamers. The 2021 FIRST Global Challenge is bringing together high school students, mentors, volunteers and supporters from all over the world in virtual collaboration to empower youth to advance new ways STEM can counter the effects of the pandemic and mitigate the impact of future catastrophic events.
“It’s been a horrific year around the world dealing with this pandemic. But that might be what helps bring the world together!” said inventor and philanthropist Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Global. “We’re hoping that by making the theme of this year’s Challenge to Discover & Recover, we’re going to have a global network of young people who are enthusiastic to work together and use science and technology to solve this and all the other problems the world will be facing.”
The global spread of COVID-19 made FIRST Global rethink how to make science and technology available to youth worldwide. While many nations have looked inward, FIRST Global has organized new ways for tomorrow’s leaders from more than 160 countries to communicate, cooperate and work together.
The 12-week virtual season consists of three main components. In the Solutions Challenge, teams will innovate STEM solutions to local problems resulting from the pandemic in the areas of education, environment, health and economy. In the CubeSat Prototype Challenge, teams will design and build a CubeSat miniature satellite prototype and launch it into the lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere. And in the Robotics Challenge, teams will develop their robot design, building and programming skills.
Since the organization’s inception in 2017, FIRST Global has directly inspired thousands of students, mentors, schoolmates and community members across 196 nations to leverage STEM to provide access to clean water, improve energy infrastructures, clean the world’s oceans and more.
Visit first.global to view this year’s participation map and follow along with our 160+ teams on their journeys of discovery and recovery.
About FIRST Global
FIRST Global’s mission is to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in youth from all nations in order to increase understanding, instil the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues and improve quality of life for all. Bringing these future STEM leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of STEM education. By showing the youth of the world that they can communicate and work together — even in competition — using the tools of science and engineering to find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, FIRST Global is using robots to build kids that have the self-confidence, skill sets, imagination, courage, and vision to do important things. Learn more: www.first.global.