First Global Robotics Challenge

What is it about?

The FIRST Global Challenge is a truly international robotics event with more than 175 nations across the world traveling to Mexico City to participate.

Participating teams are composed of students – aged 14 through 18 years – with the common goal of increasing their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics so that they can become the next generation of scientific leaders who will work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, from food security and access to clean water, to finding better medicines and securing cyberspace.

THE 2018 GAME: ENERGY IMPACT

The theme of the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge is “Energy Impact”. From commonly used fossil fuels to environmentally-friendly resources like solar and wind, energy is a tool that powers the different parts of our world one way or another. The 2018 FIRST Global Challenge will explore the impact of the different types of energy we use and how we can make them more sustainable..

Zim Robotics Team

The Zimbabwe Robotics Team is currently comprised of students from the following schools; Harare High, Tynwald High, St Ignatius, and St George’s. A group of five students attended the inaugural FIRST Global Robotics competition in Washington DC (July 2017), and it ranked 17th out of 163 countries (defeating US and Russia) and 3rd amongst African nations. FIRST Global organizes an annual international robotics challenge to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among more than two billion students across the world.

FIRST Global works with organisations and hubs that support the advancement of technology and innovation in their local communities. The Zimbabwe team works with Impact Hub Harare which provides training, mentorship and other resources essential for success at both the local and international stage. The training that students go through contributes towards shaping tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and innovators to be practical problem solvers. Currently, we’re raising funds for the students to be able to compete at this year’s competition held in Mexico City this August. Please visit our crowdfunding page for more information about our fundraising target. www.onepercentclub.com/help-a-zim-youth-build-a-robot

Impact Hub Harare is the official partner of the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge in Zimbabwe. FIRST Global organises an annual international robotics challenge to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among more than two billion students across the world. FIRST Global works with organisations and hubs that support the advancement of technology and innovation in their local communities.

We have spent months raising funds for the students to be able to compete at this year’s competition. Through combined efforts from individuals, parents and institutions we’ve managed to raise our target amount. Thank you all for the support! We hope you continue to follow this page and our social media platforms for real-time updates on the Zimbabwe Robotics Team.

Team Spotlight

Bennedictus Chingodza

An 18-year-old 6th form student at St. George’s College in the capital Harare. I am a member of the Zimbabwean Robotics Team and my strength is the technical and engineering aspect of robotics. Ever since I was a child I had always been into robotics without knowing it. I would break all the toys I would get to find out what makes the machine tick and try change the toy. In a nutshell, I’ve always been curious about how machines work and how you can make a machine to do a specific task and that’s basically robotics. I’ve always had a passion for finding solutions to problems but that passion has been made stronger by the opportunities prevailing in my country. My country has potential for accelerated development and what better way to achieve this than through STEM? In fact, the only way we can move forward is through science and technology. I am inspired by Elon Musk. He shares the same sentiments of renewable energy by producing electric vehicles which produce little or no pollution. In addition, he grew up in Africa and later relocated to the United States to become one of the most influential people in the world. He also portrays a lot of curiosity since he’s thinking of inhabiting Mars. I can see a lot of similarities with him, perhaps I will send you a selfie with him in Mars!

Danai Ellaine Hakata

Aged 17 from Harare, Zimbabwe. I feel greatly honoured to be part of the Robotics team. Robotics is the way forward and it offers immense opportunities such as increasing productivity, providing safety and better performance in handling huge amounts of data. The Robotics Challenge is a good platform for me to interact with young people from different schools and nationalities. It helps me build the foundation for my career.

I am an aspiring pharmacist who would like to explore the use of Artificial Intelligence in improving health care in Zimbabwe, detecting and prescribing the right medication at the right time. I am inspired by those around me. I look up to my sister who is very passionate about coding and is part of the developer circle here in Harare. My teacher believes that coding is an essential skill for everyone nowadays. It is my dream to contribute meaningfully towards improving the quality of life. As a step towards my dream, I am currently studying advanced level Mathematics, Biology, Computer Science and Chemistry and have started taking coding lessons in Python and JavaScript online. I also participate in coding challenges from Kaggle. To wind down, I love dancing to house music with my sister and friends!

Letticia Vanganayi

Aged 17 and a student at Harare High School. I am in Lower 6 studying Mathematics, Physics, Computers and Chemistry. I am a member of the Electronics Club at school. I am passionate about ICTs and would like to become a computer scientist. In 2016, I participated in junior parliament selections. Participating in the FIRST Global Challenge will help me become a role model for younger girls in my community, I intend to share the skills gained with many other girls. It gives me the opportunity to prove that Robotics is not a man-only field. I believe what boys can do, women can do better.

Through First Global Challenge, I will get exposure to different career options, network and share ideas with peers from diverse backgrounds. I love playing around with ideas and creating new stuff. It is my desire to see my country become a digital economy, and I am preparing myself to become a leader in that area. My role in the team is to build and program. I love hanging out with my friends and spend my ‘me time’ reading novels.

Tamuda Chimhanda

I’m a 15-year-old boy studying at St Ignatius College. My interest in Robotics and Artificial intelligence kickstarted in primary school at Courtney Selous where I was team leader of the schools Robotics team and got several accolades for some designs I came up with that could potentially solve some of the problems we are facing as a nation if implemented on a larger scale.

Being in robotics has been partly made easy by constant guidance from my brother who is a software developer by profession. My ultimate dream is to one day solve the continent’s problems using robotics and artificial intelligence

Gabriel Matemba

I am a boy aged 17 years. I am currently doing Form 3 at Harare High School. My role in First Global Challenge Robotics Zimbabwe Team is to design, build and control the robot. I love ICT, STEM and Robotics because it challenges my mind to think of solutions to problems encountered in the community.

I use the skills acquired to find the best scientific approach to problem solving. The 2018 FIRST Global Challenge will give me the opportunity to improve my science techniques, interact and share ideas with other young people from all corners of the world. I will take this opportunity to share some of my science projects and get to know other great things that my peers are up to in their own communities. I love remaking and repurposing stuff; my mom thinks its trash but I call it the Billionaire’s Garage.