DEVELOPMENT DIARIES 17 FEB 2020
A team of South Sudanese teenagers built a robot that was presented at the FIRST Global Challenge in Dubai. The robot can clean pollutants from water bodies. With about 14 billion pounds of plastic being dumped into the sea yearly, marine life is adversely affected. This is why FIRST Global decided to prioritise the issue at its challenge, under the theme ‘Ocean Opportunity’.
The South Sudanese teenagers went up against more than 1,500 students from over 190 countries. Their robot, ‘Ramceil Botics’, did well during the challenge even though one of its chains fell.
One of the team members, James Madut, stated that ‘as youth, our main point is to unite and make a change and work with the community to clean the oceans.
We can do it together’.
He also noted that the most important lesson he learnt in the course of the competition was teamwork. Another member of the team, Adau Deng Kuol, stated that the competition gave a voice to people who can do something about the problem of polluted oceans.
The yearly international robotics contest aims to bring together young people who have skills and a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in order to highlight world challenges and provide solutions.
Other African teams that placed in the challenge include: Tunisia, which received the Albert Einstein Award for FIRST Global International Excellence; Uganda, which received the Finalist Alliances Award; Burundi and Sudan both received the Judges Award – Non-Technical – for Unique Efforts, Performance or Dynamism; Nigeria received the International Enthusiasm Award;
Tunisia and Algeria also received the Sofia Kovalevskaya Award for International Journey, which is awarded to teams that document and share their FIRST Global experience with the global community.