THE 2019 FIRST GLOBAL CHALLENGE
Every year millions of tons of pollutants, generated by human activity, make their way into the world’s oceans, negatively affecting marine life and global populations. For example, it is estimated that the equivalent of one truckload of plastic pollution enters the ocean every minute! It is important to bring attention to this critical issue in order to educate ourselves and take action to preserve our oceans and wildlife.
For the third edition of the FIRST Global Challenge, teams gathered together at the Festival City Arena to compete under this theme in the game titled “Ocean Opportunities,” learning about real-world challenges related to cleaning up the world’s oceans, and what actions they can take to help make a change. Many students took the theme to heart and organized pollution cleanups in their communities. With the tagline “United by land, connected by oceans,” the Challenge drove home how, just as we are all connected in the global challenges we face, we must also be united in our efforts to tackle them.
represented by 189 teams, including a team of refugees.
directly impacted, with many more participating back home.
including 39 female-majority or all-girl teams.
organized by teams in their communities.
In Ocean Opportunities, two competing alliances, each comprised of three teams from different nations, work to clear the ocean of pollutants. Cleanup Crews have two (2) minutes and thirty (30) seconds to collect pollutants, deliver them to processing areas, and finally remove their robots, also known as collectors, from the ocean.
Prior to starting, each side of the playing field is covered in pollutants randomly distributed. A total of thirty (30) micro pollutants and fifty (50) macro pollutants, represented by small and large foam balls, litter the ocean. Cleanup Crews score points by transferring pollutants to two types of processing areas located in the ocean—the processing barge and the reduction processing hub.
This video is subtitled in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
—Team Australia 2019
“FIRST Global is necessary to prove to young people that STEM is not a boring area, but a path to the future. FIRST Global has impacted me to the point I could say I’m a different person now, a better version.”
–Carlota, Team Venezuela 2019
“It is important for the world to continuously work together on important issues. FIRST Global opens our eyes to the possibility of technology when we work together to solve the issues that we all know exist, but that seem hard to solve independently.”
–David, Team Denmark 2019
“The most important thing we learned from the event was through the help we were given unselfishly; the kindness and the way the teams communicated showed us that the key to this event is not how we are pitted against each other, but how much we are here for each other.”
–Team North Macedonia 2019
“This competition has made me aware of my potential, and I hope to extend my knowledge and inspire other students like me.”
–Sonam, Team Bhutan 2019