Inaugural FIRST Global Robotics Olympiad picks team India as winner

The team also won bronze for Global Challenge Match.

A team of seven Indian teenagers, who participated in the FIRST Global Robotics Olympiad in Washington, has won the Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award, surging ahead of 157 countries that participated in this year’s FIRST Global Challenge. The team also won bronze for Global Challenge Match.

“Kudos Team India on your gold in Engineering Design& bronze overall at @F1RSTglobal Robotics Olympiad #FGC2017 #STEM” Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy India, MaryKay Loss Carlson‏ tweeted


The yearly international robotics challenge is organized with the aim to increase the interest and passion of more than two billion youths across the world in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.

In a twitter post, FIRST Global, a non-profit that organizes yearly robotic challenge, said, “Zhang Heng Awards for Engineering Design go to Teams #Mexico #Mali #India”

The competition is open for one team from every country and, therefore, brings together high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs under one roof. This year’s robotics challenge will reflect how we need to cooperate as a global society to solve the water crisis.

According to the official website of FIRST Global, “By bringing these future STEM leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition that drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of STEM education, FIRST Global inspires students to learn the skills they will need to make the discoveries their parents and grandparents would consider miracles, impossibilities, or just plain science fiction.”

After winning the Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award, the Indian team wrote on their official Facebook page:

“We had a lot of fun at the FIRST Global Challenge 2017. We’re also absolutely thrilled to announce that we won two awards at the FIRST Global Challenge.

GOLD for Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award
BRONZE for Global Challenge Match.

Thanks everyone for your support.”

Team India consisted of seven members – Aadiv Shah, tam spokesperson; Harsh Bhatt, alliance strategist; Vatsin, alliance analyst; Adhyyan, a robot tactician; Tejas, robot controller and Raghav, robot driver, was led by 15-year-old Rahesh, who was the youngest in the team.

Meanwhile, the all-girl team from Afghanistan, which was denied visa twice by the State department, won the Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli award for courageous achievement.

President Donald Trump had to directly intervene and the team was able to arrive in the US only during the weekend before the contest started. The girls got a surprise visitor in the morning none other than First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

New York Times quoted Alireza Mehraban, an Afghan software engineer and the mentor of the team, saying, “We are not terrorists. We are simple people with ideas. We need a chance to make our world better. This is our chance.”

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