Five girls from Mumbai, between the aged of 14 and 18 years, are set to represent India in a robotics competition, First Global Challenge 2019, to be held in Dubai later this month.
For the third edition of the competition, to be held between October 24 and 27, the girls have named their team ‘Geared-Up Girls’. They will be required to build and use robots to address the challenge of ocean pollution, and the theme this year is ‘Ocean Opportunities’. The challenge will be for the participants to build robots to clean up the oceans.
More than 2,000 students from 193 countries from around the world are set to participate in the competition.
The First Global Challenge, a US-based not-for-profit organisation, invites nations from across the world to send their teams to compete in a Robotics Olympics, themed around challenges faced by the earth. The girls were selected based on four rounds of technical interviews. They were pitted against 20 teams vying to participate in the competition from India.
“This is the first time an all-girls team has qualified…That is really encouraging for STEM education, because there is a wide gender disparity in this field…Apart from preparing the team technically, we have spent a lot of time in community service, where the girls are actively spreading awareness about STEM and teaching robotics to underprivileged children…” said mentor Meenal Majumdar.
The girls also teach STEM to underprivileged students of Dharavi, and are raising funds to support an all-girls team to participate in the First Lego League, Majumdar added.
Rohit Sekhsaria, father of participant Radhika Sekhsaria, a student of Oberoi International School, said, “It’s a huge moment for us…We are thankful to Stem Education Trust and First Global for their support.”
Along with Radhika, the team includes Aarushi Shah from Bombay International School, Aayushi Nainan and Lavanya Iyer of Dhirubhai Ambani International School and Jasmehar Kochhar of Podar International School.