Robotics Champions

November 15, 2019
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED Students participate in the FIRST Global Challenge.
KAMRAN JEBREILI—AP

A large international robotics contest, the FIRST Global Challenge, took place from October 24 to 27 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Youth from 191 countries participated. Contestants were challenged with finding high-tech solutions to the problem of ocean pollution.

Each team was given a kit and tasked with building a robot that could collect different-sized orange balls. The balls represented ocean pollutants.

More than 1,500 competitors ages 14 to 18 took part. “The thought is we get every kid in every country to focus on learning how to use technology . . . as a tool,” says Dean Kamen, founder of the STEM competition.

The gold-medal-winning team included Syrian refugees.