The Cayman Islands National Robotics Team recently returned home from the 2023 FIRST Global Challenge in Singapore, where they competed against 190 other teams from around the world. Despite their commendable effort, the team finished 89th overall, showcasing the immense talent and potential of young minds in the Cayman Islands.
The FIRST Global Challenge, organized by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), aims to inspire and cultivate future science and technology leaders. This year’s challenge focused on hydrogen as a sustainable energy source, with teams designing robots to tackle thematic tasks centered around “Hydrogen Horizons.”
Throughout the four days of intense competition, the Cayman Islands National Robotics Team formed alliances with teams from over 20 countries, engaging in collaboration, cultural exchange, and valuable learning opportunities. The Team participated in nine winning matches, with only one loss, showcasing their adaptability, teamwork, and technical skills.
While the team’s wins were impressive, they did not secure the high scores necessary to place them in the winner’s circle. However, the experience was invaluable in broadening the team members’ perspectives and fostering a deep understanding of robotics and innovative problem-solving approaches.
Team member Amiyah Tahal, a student at Triple C School, reflected on this valuable experience: “Having the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures exposed me to new ways of approaching robotics. Communicating with individuals who speak different languages taught me patience and understanding, enabling us to form strong alliances.”
Sophia Villarin from St. Ignatius Catholic School expressed her pride in being selected for such an international event, emphasizing the impact it has had on her and the team. She said, “Participating in the FIRST Global Challenge made me realize the significance of this opportunity. We, as a team, now stand as role models, demonstrating the incredible capabilities of young people from both the Cayman Islands and across the globe.”
This international event not only fostered competition but also provided valuable educational experiences and insights into future study paths. With the presence of world-renowned universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale, participants had the chance to explore potential careers in robotics, mechatronics, and mechanical engineering.
The Cayman Islands National Robotics Team is supported by various organizations, including Dart’s Minds Inspired initiative, Aureum Re, CUC, Digicel, Health City Cayman Islands, KPMG, and Dart. Minds Inspired is dedicated to encouraging Cayman’s youth to embrace STEM subjects through innovative programs and activities.
Overall, the Cayman Islands National Robotics Team showcased their passion, resilience, and dedication to STEM education at the 2023 FIRST Global Challenge. Their participation in this prestigious event not only provided valuable experiences but also positioned them as ambassadors for the potential of young people in the Cayman Islands and beyond.
1. What is the FIRST Global Challenge?
The FIRST Global Challenge is an annual international robotics competition organized by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). It aims to inspire young people to become leaders and innovators in science and technology.
2. What was the theme of this year’s FIRST Global Challenge?
This year’s challenge revolved around exploring the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source.
3. How did the Cayman Islands National Robotics Team perform?
The team finished 89th out of 191 teams, showcasing their talent and potential in the global robotics arena.
4. What educational opportunities did the participants have during the event?
Participants had the chance to learn from top universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale, gaining insights into future study paths in robotics, mechatronics, and mechanical engineering.
5. Who supports the Cayman Islands National Robotics Team?
The team is supported by Dart’s Minds Inspired initiative, along with other organizations including Aureum Re, CUC, Digicel, Health City Cayman Islands, KPMG, and Dart.