Namibians off to international robotics competition

Home Youth Corner Namibians off to international robotics competition
Namibians off to international robotics competition

Staff Reporter

A three-member robotics team will fly out Monday to represent Namibia at the FIRST Global Challenge, which is an international robotics competition for teenagers that are enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). 

They are Christofina Magongo, Tauno Amakali and Benn Visser.

Team captain Magongo said they look forward to further developing the fathomless parts of technology and how to solve problems that not only affect Namibians but the global community. 

“We also anticipate strengthening our involvement in STEM-related sectors by further taking studies that are encapsulated under STEM on tertiary level,” she told Youth Corner.

This year’s challenge will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 16 October 2022. More than 180 countries will come together face-to-face in the spirit of global purpose, unity, and collaboration. 

The 2022 theme is ‘Carbon Capture’, which challenges FIRST Global teams to reimagine the future of the earth’s climate. 

Magongo explained that as the carbon emissions have and are still continuing to deteriorate our ozone layer, the depletion has enabled young minds to create prototyping solutions, to this catastrophe.

Established by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, FIRST Global is a US-based nonprofit public charity that aims to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all nations, to increase understanding, impress the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues, and improve quality of life for all by igniting a passion for STEM among the more than two billion youths of the world. 

The Namibian teenagers have been mentored by Dennis de Abreu, Jens Griebel, Nolan Ndokosho and Azor Hijarunguru, who are all currently pursuing STEM-related studies. These mentors will accompany them to Geneva.

The Challenge further builds bridges between high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs.

Magongo said the journey for the team has thus far been motivational and inspiring to be a part of the STEM community. 

“The expansion of students’ capability will consequently affect them optimally as individuals. The exposure also allows them to determine the vitality of togetherness. This opportunity opens participants’ eyes to see what it is that they would like to study and do one day.” 

The team believes they can make Namibia a better and safe place with just the click of buttons that need to be initiated and implemented.

Namibia have participated in all the challenges since 2018 and participants have brought back plenty of safety awards.