Cambodian Teens Hope to Win at Global Robot Making Contest

“When I was 12 years old, I dreamed of standing on the stage and becoming famous because of my inventions,” said Chanty, 17, a high school student in Siem Reap. Next month, Chanty and her five teammates will travel to the United States to compete in the first robotics competition organized by not-for-profit group First Global.

It’s a warm Sunday morning, but unlike other teens their age, Chanty and her friends sat in front of a computer, talking with a mentor in the United States about building robots.

“When I was 12 years old, I dreamed of standing on the stage and becoming famous because of my inventions,” said Chanty, 17, a high school student in Siem Reap. “I liked playing around with my dad’s CD player and wondered how it worked.”

Chanty comes from a poor family. Her mother is a housewife, and her father makes a living from fishing, barely earning enough to provide for her and her 12 siblings.​

But things might be about to change.

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