Oceans have a profound influence on the planet – and humans are only now starting to fully understand its effect on global climate and ecosystems. The world’s oceans are now laden with pollutants.
This creates the window for those who have an affinity towards Science and Technology to conjure cutting-edge technology that aims towards averting or mitigating the effects of pollution in the world’s waters. The 2019 FIRST Global Challenge offered participating teams to devise technology relevant and effective in achieving the purposes of reducing pollution. They had to acquire information about the real-world challenges pertaining to the cleaning of the world’s waters.
In educating and inspiring action as regards cleaning our waters, the Challenge ran under the theme, “Ocean Opportunities”. The preservation of the environment so that it remains a safe place for humanity is at the crux of the FIRST Global Challenge’s agenda. Two billion youths from across the world have their passions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics enkindled so that they come through this opportunity so that they come up with solutions to the world’s environmental problems, particularly ocean pollution.
The challenge 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.”
To this end, a team of teens from South Sudan put their heads together and created an ocean-cleaning robot that has the capability of cleaning pollutants in water bodies. The team was in hot competition against more than 1,500 students from 191 countries in participation. The robot they came up with, Ramceil Botics, impressed adjudicators even though one of its chains fell in the process.
Team member James Madut highlighted the significance of hard work in achieving these results. “As a youth, our main point is to unite and make a change and work with the community to clean the oceans. We can do it together,” Madut said.
The competition affords a voice to those who are keenly curious about solving problems that affect humans. For people interesting in adding something towards a problem being solved, this is a good opportunity. Teams from other African countries include those from Tunisia, Uganda, Burundu, Algeria, Nigeria, and Sudan.
About 14 billion pounds of plastics “are dumped into the ocean each year. Unlike rivers and streams, trash thrown into the ocean can eventually sink to the bottom and never be seen again thus negatively affecting marine life and global populations,” according to statistics by Globe Water.
The need to come up with solutions that save our environment is now urgent more than any other time in the history of humankind.