THE 2018 FIRST GLOBAL CHALLENGE
The impact of energy on our daily lives is far-reaching; it powers transportation, lights up homes, and furthers education. However, energy shortages and a lack of reliable infrastructure can make it expensive and inconstant. Global energy demand is rising, and current systems won’t be sufficient to meet it. It is estimated energy use worldwide will go up 50% by 2040. Two solutions identified in the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering include “making solar energy more economical” and “obtaining energy from nuclear fusion.” If we focus on the impact of the different types of energy we use and how we can make them more reliable, we can work toward building a more sustainable power grid. The second edition of the FIRST Global Challenge gathered teams together at the Mexico City Arena to compete under this theme in the game titled “Energy Impact.”
were represented by 189 teams, including a team of refugees.
directly impacted, with more involved back home.
including 35 female-majority or all-girl teams.
were carried out by teams in their communities.
In Energy Impact, teams learn about real-world energy challenges surrounding electrical grid connectivity and the role of diverse sources of energy. In the game, two village alliances each compete to generate more power than the opposing village through a reaction plant, a combustion plant, a wind turbine, and solar panels. Villages must then make their grid more robust by parking at the village power station at the end of the match. Villages that work together to connect the coopertition power line also receive a bonus.
—Dean Kamen, FIRST Global Founder
“By providing us with STEM tools, FIRST Global increases our capacity to develop ourselves, transform our communities, and fight global challenges.”
–Ibrahim, Team Chad 2018
“This whole experience has been absolutely amazing and has completely blown me away. Support for STEM is extremely important, not just for the advancement of any one of us, but for the advancement of all of us, regardless of nationality, borders, religion, beliefs, anything. It’s important that we can all move forward together, and the way through that is with technology. Possibly the greatest part of FIRST Global is the meeting of everyone and making friends with everybody.”
–Kai-pheonix, Team New Zealand 2018
“I cannot describe how grateful, honored, and privileged I am to be part of such an amazing community of young, passionate, and talented STEM leaders from all over the globe. Seeing all the diversity and cultures that exist in the world, and cooperating and solving problems with all of them, gives me and my teammates inspiration and encouragement to continue extending opportunities to our community.”
–Tran, Team Vietnam 2018
“When I was first introduced to robotics and FIRST Global, I only realized then how STEM was accessible to me and how I could implement it in my real life. How I could use technology, as a teenager, to change my communities and change the face of my nation. So that has empowered me a lot to move forward and to dream bigger.”
–Barbara, Team South Africa 2018