Studio Sifaka: The FIRST Global Challenge – Madagascar continues to climb in the ranking

Studio Sifaka - News, music, advice and debates for young people in Madagascar

(Translated from French)

Since 2017, thanks to the STEM for Good association , Madagascar has been represented each year at the FIRST Global Challenge, an annual international Olympic-style robotics competition. This year the contest will end September 25, 2020, and today Madagascar is the 5 th place in the ranking.

5 th place with 35 points is now ranking the Madagascar Team in the 2020 FIRST Global Challenge. Initiated in 2016 by the FIRST association that was founded by Dean Kamen, the competition aims to promote STEM ( Sciences, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) and in particular its learning and fields of application. The competition is open to young people under the age of 18 and aims to popularize and especially to arouse passion for the field of STEM among young people.

5 th place in 190 countries after 15 challenges
This year, because of the covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the challenges launched in the competition, the teams participating in it also had to take up another major challenge “the distance”. “This year, we had to deal with the situation, especially with confinement, which turned things up a bit,” said Tiantsoa, ​​one of the members of Team Madagascar at FGC2020. Fortunately, according to Adrienne Irma Rabemanantsoa, ​​one of the team’s mentors, “thanks to donations, the team was able to stay in touch and participate in the competition from a distance. Even more, a large part of the challenges were based on sharing on social networks ”.

Besides the competitive aspect of this competition, the participants also see a future in it. “As I would like one day to work in a field applying the Stem, this competition is an opportunity for me,” explains Hardi, who is an apprentice programmer. For Tiantsoa , “this competition allows you to bond with others, not only to learn a lot of things, but also to make new acquaintances”.

To popularize STEM among young people
As the FIRST Global Challenge is an international robotics competition for young people under the age of 18, the goal both to make this field known to young people and the general public, but also to help young people to awaken their talent and their creativity. By supporting and helping young people to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge, the STEM for Good Madagascar association wants to promote and popularize this culture among young people. “It is a way of encouraging young people to awaken their passion and especially to help them work more to learn more in this area”, explains Mendrika Razananiriana, member of the association and technical mentor of the Malagasy team for the FGC2020. According to him,”The majority of young people think that robotics is inaccessible due to financial means, and yet robotics opens up the horizon of possibilities and the future”.