Stormgears 2023: FIRST Global
From August to October, Stormgears mentored a robotics team in Botswana. Every week, we would participate on a call with the team to help them prepare for the FIRST Global conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Since it was the students’ first time building a robot, we guided them through the engineering process, and provided both software and mechanical assistance. The students did a very good job building their robot, and were selected to become part of the rank 1 alliance at the competition.
Since the cost of attending competitions and running a robotics team can be very expensive, we also assisted them in fundraising. We provided fundraising advice to aid them in reaching their $10,000 goal. Although this goal was ultimately not met, our assistance still allowed them to set up fundraising channels for future years, and earned them an award in fundraising.
Additionally, we held a virtual FLL scrimmage for their teams. The scrimmages were a beneficial learning experience for the students. In November, we shipped spare FLL robot parts. We also provided ideas for their Innovation Project, in addition to scrimmage resources and strategy advice. Their teams ended up winning several awards including the Championship, Innovation, and Best Mentor awards.
The FLL teams moved on to the Regional Finals in South Africa. Though they did not win any awards there, it was a great educational and cultural experience.
Overall, Stormgears imparted valuable technical and outreach advice to the team in Botswana. We are proud of their amazing accomplishments and hope to see them again, perhaps at Worlds!