16 Maio Team Argentina 2018
Change the world. That is something that many of us dream of: doing something that leaves an impact, a mark that, however small, is worthy of being remembered. The challenges we face every day are no secret: from water pollution, cyber-security problems to the energy crisis. All these problems sound intimidating, challenging and more important, so complicated that only adults could solve. But that’s not true. The youth of today have enough tools to be able to solve them and devise possible solutions or at least improve the situation. But what is the problem? You can have all the resources in the world, but if you do not know how to take advantage of them, it’s the same as having nothing. And at the same time, one can have the necessary skills and qualities, but without an opportunity to explore and develop them, it is impossible to discover the hidden potential.
And that’s what FIRST Global is about, in which almost all nations, regardless of their economy, religion, politics, and any other difference, are represented by sending a national team selected that identifies them. What makes this World Cup so special is its goal: to inspire young people to join STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) so that, together, we can solve the most worrisome global problems that haunt us.
This year’s theme is the energy impact of fossil fuels, renewable energies or cleaner ones. From the Argentine team, which consists of six teenagers between 15 and 17 years, we have been preparing to build a robot that can collect buckets, lift small square panels, turn a wind turbine, among other things, to solve the challenge of world this year. The members of Argentina’s national team are members of the Educabot robotics team.
To prepare we attended the weekly meetings of the robotics workshops of Educabot, but at the same time we added an additional meeting on Saturdays, where we worked on the robot for more than 6 hours. In the meetings on Saturdays we made many advances: we started assigning tasks and roles to each team member defining who would be the game specialists, the rules and the managers of the strategies to add as many points in the shortest possible time, who would be in charge of the programming, of the mechanics of the armed, and who would be the robot driver. In addition, we began to diagram and devise how to design our robot to fulfill the tasks of the challenge (using the parts of the kit) to bring to reality those designs and test some mechanical parts of the robot, demonstrating how many of our ideas were good and with great potential, while we discovered some obstacles of some designs. However, the challenges presented so far could be resolved quickly and efficiently thanks to teamwork and the perseverance and passion of all.
Year after year, FIRST Global is becoming a challenge, however complex and demanding, not only more attractive, exciting and fun, but also something less impossible to achieve. As time passes, we are gaining more confidence in our abilities, allowing us to realize that not everything is science fiction, and that those things that we admired or were fascinated through television or a video, we are doing. We are fulfilling a dream and at the same time, contributing to a better world.