Team Switzerland 2018

We are a group of 5 people and participate for the first time in the FIRST Global Challenge. However, we have built robots for many years and competed in other robotics challenges on a national and international level. So, who are we? Our team consists of an experienced teacher and a skilled engineer who coach students from ages 13 to 18 at the “Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland” (KZO) in the beautiful country side around Zurich. In our classes we have a mixture of senior and newcomer robotics students of both genders. They not only learn from the coaches but also from each other and share experiences, successes and failures. What we all have in common is our true interest in applying science to solve complex problems and of course still having fun.

Riccardo
I’m an engineer and mentor of the team. My ambition is to spark the fire for STEM in young people so that they will be able to shape the future. Therefore, it is really important that this age group gets in contact with technology very early. At this age they can realize for what all the subjects they learn at school could be used for. It is always a good experience for them to realize that reality is not as easy as they have learned at regular school. However, they have got there the skills to master the challenge.

Stephan
I’m a math teacher at our high school and I teach starting from the basic course to the advanced course. For me, robotics is an excellent opportunity to combine different subject that our students learn during their time at school. Interdisciplinary work is a great challenge because teaching is usually focused on one specific subject. In contrast, participating at competitions is a precious motivation factor for our youngsters. Because the challenges are much more complex than the usual problems to be solved during regular class, many teenagers engross themselves into robotics thanks to these tournaments. 

Chiara
My name is Chiara and I’m 18 years old. When I was 12 I started to work with robots and they fascinated me ever since. I‘ve participated four times at national robotics championships and gained a lot of experience. Programming robots inspired me to learn different coding languages and to learn how to write more efficient algorithms. So after this summer I‘m going to study Computer Science at the ETH University in Zurich. After my studies I‘m looking forward to having a career in the IT business. For now I am very excited about the upcoming event in Mexico to meet people from so many countries and so different cultures who all share the passion as I do!

Jonas
I am Jonas and I‘m 17 years old. In August I am starting in the last year of the grammar school in natural science and mathematics. Four years ago I participated in the robotics subject and found a passion in it. Since I have been a child I was fascinated how machines could move and do very complex things without any human help. My plans for the future are to study Informatics or IT-Security and work with robots and computers. Therefore I am delightedly looking forward to this opportunity, to come and participate in the tournament in Mexico-City. I am eager how the FIRST competition is going to be and to meet other teams from around the world. 

Marco
I am Marco, 17 years old and a student at the KZO. Our school has offered an optional class about robotics for many years. For me this was a possibility to share my passion about problem-solving and science, to gain insight into STEM and to participate as a team at robotic tournaments. This year our team will represent our country at the FIRST Global Challenge. This tournament is, for me, a new challenge to complete and yet another deep dive into the enormous and fascinating world of STEM. I could imagine studying a STEM-related subject in the near future. However, I also have interests in other, non-scientific majors offered by universities.


Energy Situation

As a matter of fact, Switzerland does not have any natural resources which could be used for generating (or physically correct convert) energy. Thanks to our huge water resources and mountainous landscape we are able to temporarily store energy. However, this is not enough to cover the energy need of our increasing population. Therefore, our nation has developed a long-term strategy 2050 in which renewable energy (such as solar, wind, etc.) is sustainably gathered and at the same time nuclear power sources are abolished. Additionally, reducing power consumption and developing new ways of harvesting energy is essential to cover the need of energy of the 21st century.