Five Mumbai-based girls from grades 9 to 12 have been selected to represent India at the FIRST Global Challenge to be held in Dubai this month.
The Challenge - organised by FIRST Global, a not-for-profit organization based in the US – will have participants from across the world, contesting in an Olympics-themed Robotics competition.
Founded in 2016, FIRST Global aims to boost STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. The FIRST Global Challenge aims to find robotic solutions for environmental issues. This year marks the third edition of the FIRST Global challenge with over 2,000 students participating from 193 countries.
To be held in October 27-29 this year, the Challenge follows the theme of ‘ocean opportunities.’ It focuses on ocean pollution that hurts marine life and global populations. The Challenge aims at educating the teams about actively taking action to preserve our oceans.
The participating teams will get an opportunity to put their passion and skills to use and build robots to help clean up the ocean of pollutants. Accordingly, the team of five representing India -who now call themselves the ‘Geared-up Girls’ - will build robots to tackle the challenge of ocean pollution.
Meet the Teens
Coming from four schools across Mumbai, the team of five teenagers were selected after partaking in a meticulous selection process against 20 teams and with four rounds of technical interviews.
Aarushi Shah’s fields of expertise are robot design, construction and electricals; Radhika Sekhsaria is in charge of fundraising and programming; Aayushi Nainan’s primary focus lies in strategy and construction; Jasmehar Kochhar works on programming and strategizing, and Lavanya Iyer is responsible for robot construction and strategy.
Alongside their training, the five girls are also working on teaching STEM to underprivileged students of Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, and hearing-impaired students of Sankalp, a school for mentally challenged and hearing impaired children. With their undeterred enthusiasm for STEM, the Geared-up Girls are also raising funds to support an all-girls team to participate in the First Lego League.