In two and a half weeks, a team of very young and spirited 5 teenage girls (14 yrs-18yrs), the Geared-Up Girls from 4 different schools in Mumbai will represent the country at the First Global Challenge between October 24 – 27, 2019.
The ‘Geared-up Girls’ Team — from 4 schools across Mumbai comprises of the team members namely, Aarushi Shah (Bombay International School), works on robot design, construction and electrical in the team, Radhika Sekhsaria (Oberoi International School), responsible for fundraising and programming, Aayushi Nainan (Dhirubhai Ambani International School), her primary focus is on strategy and construction, Jasmehar Kochhar (Podar International School), focuses on programming and strategizing and Lavanya Iyer (Dhirubhai Ambani International School), responsible for robot construction and strategy.
It’s a huge moment for us as our daughters are representing the country at a global platform. All of us parents are extremely grateful and overwhelmed at the same time. We do hope our girls can keep the nation’s flag flying high. We are thankful to Stem Education Trust and First Global for their guidance and support.” said Rohit Sekhsaria, Radhika Sekhsaria’s father.
With more than 2,000 students from 193 countries from around the world, the 3rd edition of FIRST Global challenge is going to be held in Dubai.
The FIRST Global Challenge, a not-for-profit organization based in the United States, invites nations from across the world to send their teams to compete in a Robotics Olympics themed around the greatest challenges facing our planet.
This year, the theme is ‘ocean opportunities’ and focuses on ocean pollution that negatively impacts marine life and global populations. It seeks to educate the participating teams about taking action to preserve our oceans and also throws up a challenge to the young and budding scientists to build robots to clean up the ocean of pollutants.
“This is the first time an all-girls team has qualified to make it to the First Global Challenge. That’s really encouraging for STEM education because there’s a wide gender disparity in this field. It has been part exciting and part fulfilling to mentor the 5 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. We do hope the Geared-up Girls team continues to rise and shine.” said Meenal Majumdar, Mentor.
All the five girls have gone through a rigorous selection process that involved four rounds of technical interviews. They were pitted against 20 teams vying for the prestigious spot to make it to team India.
To address the huge gap that exists in STEM education, the girls have taken it upon themselves to create a world of confident and fearless girls by reducing the gender inequality in STEM. Their mission is to empower and enrich the lives of women by inspiring them to pursue STEM.
The girls are also actively involved in teaching STEM to underprivileged students of Dharavi and hearing impaired students of Sankalp. They are also raising funds to support an all-girls team to participate at the First Lego League.