Students from 160 Nations to Reconvene a Year from Now in Mexico City for the Second Iteration of the FIRST Global Challenge

Students from 160 Nations to Reconvene a Year from Now in Mexico City for the Second Iteration of the FIRST Global Challenge

President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim Underscores the Role of Technology Innovation in International Development.

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2017

Washington, D.C. – FIRST Global ( caps off the three-day robotics competition that saw one high-school team from each of the nearly 160 participating nations compete to address one of the world’s most pressing issues – water security. Accomplished inventor, Dean Kamen founded FIRST Global with the mission to inspire an interest in science and technology development among the 2 billion youth of the world and ensuring that every child has the chance to obtain necessary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills to overcome the greatest challenges our world faces.

The games – aimed at addressing water security – concluded with the Award Ceremony, during which teams were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals in ten categories – both qualitative and quantitative in nature – highlighting the qualities that FIRST Global aims to inspire in the STEM leaders of tomorrow. The winners (listed below) were selected by an international panel of judges comprised of members of the STEM community who have been part of the FIRST Global Challenge experience from the beginning.


  1. FIRST Global Challenge Award:
    • Awarded to teams that earn the most match points
      1. Gold: Finland
      2. Silver: Singapore
      3. Bronze: India
  2. FIRST Global Grand Challenge Award
    • Awarded to teams that accrue the most cumulative points over the course of the competition.
      1. Gold: Team Europe
      2. Silver: Poland
      3. Bronze: Armenia
  3. Zhang Heng Award for Engineering Design
    • Awarded to teams whose robot exhibits excellent engineering and displays elegance and effectiveness during the Challenge.
      1. Gold: India
      2. Silver: Mali
      3. Bronze: Mexico
  4. Ustad Ahmad Lahori Award for Innovation in Engineering
    • Awarded to teams that demonstrate creativity and innovation in building their robot to complete an aspect of the Challenge.
      1. Gold: Latvia
      2. Silver: Indonesia
      3. Bronze: Spain
  5. Dr. Mae Jemison Award for International Unity
    • Awarded to teams that emulate the best qualities of FIRST Global by breaking down barriers, demonstrating Gracious Professionalism, and building bridges with fellow teams.
      1. Gold: Canada
      2. Silver: Australia
      3. Bronze: United Arab Emirates
  6. Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli Award for Courageous Achievement
    • Awarded to teams that exhibit a “can-do” attitude throughout the Challenge, even under difficult circumstances, or when things do not go as planned.
      1. Gold: South Sudan
      2. Silver: Afghanistan
      3. Bronze: Oman
  7. Sofia Kovalevskaya Award for International Journey
    • Awarded to teams that documented and shared their FIRST Global experience with the rest of the FIRST Global community
      1. Gold: Nigeria
      2. Silver: France
      3. Bronze: Madagascar
  8. Albert Einstein Award for FIRST Global International Excellence
    • Awarded to the teams whose robots performed the best during the FIRST Global Challenge and exemplified all of the tenets of the FIRST Global community
      1. Gold: Oceania
      2. Silver: Tunisia
      3. Bronze: Lebanon
  9. Francisco José de Caldas Award for Sustainable Excellence
    • Awarded to an individual who helped contribute to strong and sustainable FIRST Global programs
      1. Gold: Sue O’Malley (Team Oceania)
      2. Silver: Barbara Glover (African Union)
      3. Bronze: David Levy (AAAS)
  10. Al Khwarizmi Award for Outstanding Supporter
    • Awarded to an institution, sponsor, or government that has added a positive dimension to the FIRST Global Challenge.
      1. Gold: the First Skills Club, nominated by Team Tunisia
      2. Silver: Mr. Faysal Jarmakani and Mr. Omar Jarmakani, nominated by Team Nigeria
      3. Bronze: the National Institute for Science, Technology, and Innovation, nominated by Team Seychelles


As FIRST Global’s guest of honor, President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim recognized the hard work the competitors put into the competition and encouraged them to pursue careers in STEM so as to secure prosperous livelihoods for all people around the world.

“Every country in the world has to have the opportunity so that its children can rise to become whatever they want including President of the World Bank.”

Drawn from the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by the United States National Academy of Engineering, water security will take the center stage as this year’s FIRST Global Challenge theme due to its worldwide impact – whether due to severe droughts in Sub Saharan Africa or inefficient plumbing in Europe – and the need to raise awareness about the dangers of neglecting to address this global issue.

To emphasize how imperative finding solutions to these issues is, members of the national engineering academies of the United States, China, and the United Kingdom will attend the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge’s Closing Ceremony prior to holding the 3rd Global Grand Challenges Summit on 18-20 July, 2017 at George Washington University in Washington, D,C.

In keeping with FIRST Global’s mission to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation internationally, the FIRST Global Challenge will take place in a different nation each year. FIRST Global Founding Member, renowned entrepreneur Ricardo Salinas, announced Mexico as next year’s host country for the second iteration of the FIRST Global Challenge. The organization wants to empower all young through science and technology and is working earnestly to recruit teams from countries that could not accompany us this year.

To learn more, contact:
+1 (571) 309-4510

FIRST Global Mission: The FIRST Global mission is to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all nations in order to increase understanding, instill the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues, and improve quality of life for all. This mission is accomplished through the FIRST Global Challenge, which culminates with an international robotics game that will rotate among different nations each year. By showing the youth of the world that if they communicate, cooperate, and work together using the tools of science and engineering to find solutions to the world’s grand challenges – water, energy, security, medicine, food, and education – they will be able to accomplish great things and become part of a truly global community.

FIRST Global Challenge: The FIRST Global Challenge is an annual robotics game that will address one of the 14 Grand Challenges identified by the national engineering academies of the United States, United Kingdom, and China. Each year, a different issue of global importance will take center stage as the theme of that year’s FIRST Global Challenge, which will be held in a different nation across the world.

Global STEM Corps: The Global STEM Corps (GSC) is FIRST Global’s 21st century answer to a world in need of an inspired generation of young adults ready to tackle global challenges. Through GSC, grassroots volunteers work to motivate students across the globe to pursue fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding lives through STEM education by mentoring them for an “Olympics”-style robotics event. These community-based volunteers range from civic minded high school and college students, to entire university robotics and engineering departments. The STEM Corps brings the universal elements of science, cooperation, and competition to the world stage by connecting mentors and FIRST Global competitors online and over the phone – making it possible to stay in touch anytime, anywhere.

FIRST Global Founder: Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology innovation. His roles as an inventor and an advocate are intertwined with his passion for practical, real world uses of technology, and his personal determination to spread excitement for and the virtues of STEM to the more than two billion youths around the world. Dean’s drive comes from his firm belief that the tools of science and engineering will help equip the world’s youth to solve the most pressing global challenges we face as a planet, both today and tomorrow.

FIRST Global President: Joe Sestak is a former Admiral and Congressman who commanded an aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy in the White House, and headed the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit during his 31 years of naval service. Retiring when his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer, Joe entered politics upon her recovery to fight for everyone to have the healthcare that saved her life. After leaving Congress, Joe taught at various universities while working for nonprofits focused on refugees, disaster response, education, and foreign policy.