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Team Seychelles ready to take on First Global Challenge 2022 |12 August 2022

Team Seychelles ready to take on First Global Challenge 2022

(L to r) Maryam, Mikhail, Joseph Raj, DG Estico and Basil Estico displaying the robotic kit (Photo: Patrick Joubert)

The Seychelles Team is looking to better its ranking in the 6th First Global Challenge 2022, to be held from October 13-16, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland, now that they have received the spares for the construction of the robotic kit.

The robotic kit was presented to team leader, Mikhail Rudechenko from the International School by Joseph Raj, principal research officer in the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) within the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry, during a press conference on Seychelles participation in the challenge competition.

The press conference was held yesterday afternoon at the Seychelles Investment Bureau (SIB), Independence House Annex.

The theme for the First Global Challenge 2022 is ‘Carbon Capture’.

Apart from Mikhail, the other students building the robot and making the trip to Geneva are Rohan Varsani from International School, Jaeden Ernesta from Anse Royale secondary school, Farah Bianca from Beau Vallon secondary school and Maryam Limia Henrie from Anse Boileau secondary school. They will be accompanied be mentors Joseph Raj (DSTI) and Fabien Adrienne from the private sector.

The students, who are meeting this afternoon at the DSTI department, Oliaji Trade Centre, Victoria, for the planning of the construction of their robot, will be assisted by other local mentors, namely Manfred Laporte, Basil Estico, Beryl Payet and Dr Ralph Etienne Cummings from the John Hopkins University in the United States.

To win the challenge competition, the team robot has to be the strongest and fastest to quickly capture carbon emissions and to store them.

Apart from Mikhail (team Seychelles captain in 2019) and Rohan (team Seychelles’ robotic designer 2019), the others on the team are making their debut in the competition. They were chosen by their respective schools for selection on the team while Mikhail and Rohan were selected by DSTI for their experience and knowledge of the competition.

The competition is for 15 to 18-year-olds and each team has to select, for the solution challenge, one out of six sectors identified by the United Nations inter-governmental panel on climate change that have the potential to reduce emission and combat global warming and climate change. The six sectors to choose from for the solution challenge are; (1) energy, (2) agriculture, forestry and other land uses, (3) urban system and other settlements, (4) buildings, (5) transport and (6) industry.

Speaking to the press, the director general at the DSTI, Xavier Estico, said that to win the competition, the team needs to have participants with experience to guide the newcomers.

Given that Team Seychelles was ranked 17th out of 177 countries and won second prize for Solution Challenge, Mr Estico said the aim is to improve further on the world ranking and to win first place for the Solution Challenge.

He said that the main challenge is a perfect place to construct and test the robot and resources for the team to make it to the competition.

He said that in the event of financial constraints for the team to travel to Geneva, they will compete online.

The First Global Challenge was established to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among the more than two billion youths across the world. It is a mean for the students to stay abreast of the cutting edge of technology while aiming to solve the world’s greatest challenges with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It also inspires students to learn the skills they will need to make the discoveries their parents and grandparents would consider miracles, impossibilities, or just plain science fiction.

In the 2017 First Global Challenge held in Washington, D.C., from July 17–19, 2017, Team Seychelles was ranked 105 out of 163 countries and outperformed countries such as Japan, Canada and USA. The challenges for the robots were to improve access to clean water in the developing world.

The 2018 Fist Global Challenge was held in Mexico City from August 15-18, 2018 and the challenge was the making of sustainable energy. For that competition Team Seychelles was ranked 126th out of 161 countries and outperformed European countries such as France and Netherlands, including Russia. Team Seychelles also won the Safety Award, which is only awarded to the top 45 teams that maintained a high level of safety at their pit and on the playing field.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2019, 2020 ad 2021 competitions were held on line and in 2019 Team Seychelles was ranked 121 out of 161 countries, 47 out of 175 countries for the 2020 edition and 17th out of 177 countries for the 2021 edition, including winning second prize for Solution Challenge.

The first electronic submission for challenge is by September 15, 2022 while the finalists will be announced on October 1, 2022. The presentations, judging and award presentations will be held from October 13-16, 2022.

Both Mikhail and Maryam who were present at the press conference said that they are looking forward to making a good impression in the competition.


Patrick Joubert

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