You may have heard the news, Zimbabwe won a gold medal at a global robotics competition. You love to hear it.
Here is all you need to know about the winning entry and the competition as a whole.
FIRST Global is a non-profit that was established to promote science and technology and innovation. They came up with the FIRST Global Challenge which is an olympics-style, international robotics competition and teams from all over the world compete.
We are now familiar with different disciplines holding their own olympics-style competitions. We saw how that transformed gaming. The biggest gaming esports event is The International which boasted a whopping $40 million in prize money and 2.4 million peak viewers last time around.
FIRST Global wanted to bring such a competitive element to robotics. Us sports lovers will watch anything if it’s made into a competition.
Here we are talking about robotics because Zimbabwe won an award. Would we be doing that had the challenge not been there? Probably not. So, it works.
The challenges themselves are centred around the greatest challenges facing our planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering.
All countries are invited and only high-school-aged participants are allowed to compete.
The teams must build and program their own robot to compete. There will be a number of awards to be won but most teams will leave empty-handed, such is the nature of competition.
This year’s competitions were held in Geneva Switzerland from the 13th to the 16th of October 2022. There were a total of 19 categories and over 180 teams came to compete, Zimbabwe being one.
The Zimbabwean team won the XPRIZE Innovator Award. This was awarded to the teams who developed their own innovative solutions to combat climate change as part of the 2022 New Technology Experience: Carbon Countermeasures.
Second in that category was Indonesia whilst Greece took home the Bronze medal.
You can see the full list of awards and winners here.
Here are Zimbabwean high-schoolers that were part of Team Zimbabwe 2022:
Source: FIRST Global
- Blessed – Form 5
- Marlone Chipfakacha – Form 5 at Tynwald High
- Winnet Gwatidzo
- Rukudzo Mare – 15 year old from Bernard Mizeki College
- Makanaka Chimiso
- Aquiline Mutusva
- Batsirai Nyakujara
- Grace Nyakarombo
- Tanatswa Taremba – 13 year old Form 1 student
- Michael Mkwakwami
- Shalom Foya – 13 year old Form 1 student at Tynwald High
You can read more about the team here. These youngsters have a bright future ahead of them.
It is also good to see the Zim team able to attend and participate. You don’t need reminding that the country is facing its economical challenges and most citizens are struggling to make ends meet. Shout out to all those that contributed, allowing the team to travel and compete.