The 3rd FIRST Global Challenge will be on October 24-27 in Dubai, UAE.
It is an annual Olympics-style international robotics event with one representative team from each nation across the world. Each year it is held in a different country and teams from 186 countries participated in last year’s event in Mexico City. The challenges center on the Grand Challenges of Engineering and the 2019 game is Ocean Opportunities.
FIRST Global is run by International FIRST Committee, a not-for-profit organization by Dean Kamen, and held its inaugural challenge in 2017 in Washington, D.C.
“This is a model of the real world you’re going to inherit. And FIRST Global has one mission: to plant a seed in every country in the world. You need to support each other. You need to go back to your countries and help us grow this program, so that the world will have enough great people with the tools and resources and vision and courage to take on big problems, working together and solve them.”
– Dean, from the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge Event Recap
I’m looking forward to watching the live stream (and glad it’ll finally be in a decent time zone )
Interesting that the UAE is allowing an Israeli team to come and compete. Under normal circumstances Israeli citizens, or anyone who has visited the country for that matter, are not allowed entry into the UAE. In 2010 an Israeli tennis player was famously denied a visa, preventing her from playing in the Dubai Tennis Championships. Just two years ago at the International Judo Championship in Dubai an Israeli judoka was forced to compete under an international flag, and the Israeli anthem was not played when he won gold. Apparently relations have been warming between the countries, and I’m glad to see that FIRST was able to convince the UAE to put politics aside in support of a common greater goal.
In October 2018, in The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, the Israeli team was allowed to compete. The team won two gold medals and three bronze, But this time, the Israeli flag was raised and the Israeli anthem played.
In a week from now, students from 191 national teams around the world will be competing in the 2019 FIRST Global Challenge. They will be joining the FIRST community — for most, the first time — learning from each other, and working together to solve the world’s challenges.
I’ll be watching the streams and dreaming of a future that will be so much brighter because of these youths .