Global opportunities, global friendships
Throughout this summer, ASP students worked together to form Team France in the 2021 FIRST Global Challenge. This competition included teams from almost all countries in the world and required them to solve real-world problems by designing innovative technological solutions. Led by Mr. Schildge, ASP students were paired in this process with the all-girls Team Afghanistan, sponsored by the Digital Citizens Fund. The two teams had met in Dubai in 2019 during the in-person FIRST Global event, and they were delighted to collaborate again.
This year, the teams set about designing and building a UV-C disinfecting robot to help support health and safety standards during the global pandemic. This robot uses light to sanitize a space like a hospital room. Next, the students began discussing how to build a CubeSat project that they will launch on a weather balloon in order to sample air quality and other atmospheric conditions. They are working diligently to secure the necessary permits and equipment to launch their creation!
During this time, the political changes in Afghanistan led to the Digital Citizens Fund organizing their departure to Qatar, which captured the attention of media outlets like the Washington Post.
The girls now plan to complete high school in Qatar although their mentors remain in Kabul.
With the format of the 2022 FIRST Global Competition still uncertain, Team France and Team Afghanistan have continued to collaborate and strengthen their partnership. ASP students Isha S., KyoungMin K., Colin H., Nikita S., Celine L., Soomin P., Nahyun K., and Sebastian D. learned a great deal about international collaboration, the design and engineering behind robots, and of course, the value of forming connections with students across borders.