Mumbai

City girls ready for robotics contest in Dubai

All geared up: It is for the first time that an all-girls team has qualified for the FIRST Global Challenge, and the youngsters are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations.

All geared up: It is for the first time that an all-girls team has qualified for the FIRST Global Challenge, and the youngsters are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations.  

Five students to represent India at the competition themed around the greatest challenges facing the earth

A five-member all-girls team, in the 14 to 18 age group, from four top schools of Mumbai, has been selected to represent India in a robotics challenge competition to be held in Dubai between October 24 and 27.

They will compete with teams from other countries to build robots that will have the capability to clean pollutants from the ocean.

More than 2,000 students from 193 countries will participate in the 3rd edition of the FIRST Global Challenge, a U.S.-based not-for-profit organisation that invites countries to select teams to compete in a Robotics Olympics themed around the greatest challenges facing the planet earth.

Called “The Geared-up Girls”, the team comprises Aarushi Shah (Bombay International School) who works on robot design, construction and electricals; Radhika Sekhsaria (Oberoi International School), responsible for fundraising and programming; Aayushi Nainan (Dhirubhai Ambani International School) who looks after strategy and construction; Jasmehar Kochhar (Podar International School) who is into programming and strategising; and Lavanya Iyer (Dhirubhai Ambani International School), responsible for robot construction and strategy.

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘ocean opportunities’ and the focus is to find robotic solutions to deal with ocean pollution that negatively impacts marine life and global population.

The objective is to educate the participating teams about initiating action to preserve the oceans and help build robots that can clean up the ocean of pollutants.

“This is the first time that an all-girls team has qualified to make it to the FIRST Global Challenge. That’s really encouraging for STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] education because there’s a wide gender disparity in this field,” said Meenal Majumdar, who is Mentor of the team.

“It has been part exciting and part fulfilling to mentor the five girls who have the spunk and intelligence. Apart from preparing the team technically, we have spent a lot of time in community service, where the girls are actively spreading awareness about STEM and teaching robotics to underprivileged children,” she said.

The girls went through a selection process that involved four rounds of technical interviews. They were pitted against 20 teams vying for the spot to make it to team India, people familiar with the competition said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 3:21:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/city-girls-ready-for-robotics-contest-in-dubai/article29621305.ece

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