BUILD ROBOTS TO PRODUCE HYDROGEN
Like previous editions, this year’s theme focuses on “an issue of global importance”, namely hydrogen. Participating teams are tasked with building a robot and navigating it through a simulated environment to produce hydrogen, then store, transport and convert the energy.
During the competition, teams will work together in randomly selected multi-country alliances to score points, a practice that encourages global cooperation and fosters mutual understanding, FIRST Global said.
“This year’s Hydrogen Horizons theme was chosen to help students discover the role that hydrogen technologies can play in our energy future, as well as consider the broader challenges related to global access to “energy,” Mr. Stalford said.
Hydrogen has the highest energy content by weight of all fuels and can be stored and transported in liquid or gas form, meaning it can be more easily distributed on a large scale. “Green hydrogen” energy can also be produced without adding carbon to the atmosphere.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that global electricity demand will reach 45 trillion kWh by 2050, nearly 20 trillion kWh more than 2018 global production.
“This means we need to produce more energy and that energy needs to be accessible globally. Hydrogen is a promising technology to address this crucial dynamic,” said Stalford.
FIRST Global teams will also participate in another part of the competition known as The New Technology Experience. The segment was created in 2021 to enable students to keep up to date with cutting-edge technologies.
This year, under the theme of Energy Evolution, participating teams will learn about all types of renewable energy, including hydrogen technologies, and the steps they need to take to create a clean energy future.
Teams will need to research and develop their own innovative solutions to advance implementation and improve access to renewable energy.
THE ACS (I) TEAM FOR COMPETITION
Singapore will be represented by a team of five from the Robotics Technology Society of the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).
ACS(I), which has represented the country at every edition of the FIRST Global Challenge since 2017, is also the organizer’s national partner, Stalford said.
The selection process for each FIRST Global team is administered by the National Partner, who is responsible for building and managing the National Team.
“FIRST Global encourages partners to select members who are passionate and committed to working together to contribute to the spread of STEM education across the world, as well as inclusive representation of the national population and the engagement of new students every year,” he said.
Regarding how winners are chosen, Stalford said there are 23 different awards that teams can win, with the criteria being different for each.
This includes the FIRST Global Albert Einstein Award for International Excellence – the most prestigious team award – which is awarded to groups whose robots performed best in the Robotics Challenge and exemplified all principles of the FIRST community Overall.
The judges are drawn from a group of volunteers who collectively have decades of experience judging FIRST Global competitions, Stalford said.
Although the awards generally do not have additional prizes beyond the medals and ribbons that the winning teams receive, Temasek Corporation will present an additional prize to the three winners of the Temasek Women in STEM Award at this year’s competition.
The three winning FIRST Global teams will each receive US$1,000, 50 experiential robotics platforms, as well as a support program, technical documentation and tutorials, which will help the recipients conduct outreach activities among young women of their communities.