(USP ALAFUA CAMPUS) A team of five college students from Samoa are being prepared and mentored by The University of the South Pacific (USP) for participation in the FIRST Global Challenge in Dubai from 24th-27th October, 2019. The FIRST Global Challenge is an International Robotics Competition organised annually by the FIRST Global Higher Education Network for high school students from around the world. This Tournament is the third of its kind and has been recognized worldwide for students between the ages of 14-18 years to show their skills and knowledge in the use of technology and engineering, to design, build and program robots, to perform the above challenge.
FIRST Global is a nonprofit organization that promotes science, technology, engineering, and maths education and career development by involving students from around the world in a robotics competition modeled after the Olympic Games.Each year a different nation hosts the challenge and a new theme with a relevant challenge takes center stage in an effort to foster understanding and cooperation among the youth of the world as they use their abilities to solve the world’s problems.The themethis yearis “Ocean Opportunities”,and the challenge is to design a robot to clean the oceans through a simulated set of challenges.
USP’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE), through the University’s Alafua Campus, is spearheading training of the team of students to represent Samoa in Dubai. As this is a very rare opportunity for Samoa, and because of the time constraints, the University on its own accord, had sent in an application on behalf of the 5 students with the approval and support of their parents and College.
The team to represent Samoa at the 2019 First Global Challenge includes:
1. Le Mamea Sia Matalavea – USP Alafua Campus IT Manager – Technical Mentor
2. Margaret Masa Faasau – Team Manager / RLSS Vice Principal
3. Victoria Amosa – student
4. Marion Fruean – student
5. Julius Netzler – student
6. Aukusitino Potoi – student
7. Alexandria Matalavea – student
The FIRST Global Challenge is themed around the greatest challenges facing our planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by National Academy of Engineering.Each nation can send high school-age student representative teams (14-18 years old) to the annual event.