The Gryphons exe robotics team from George C. Marshall High School lent a hand to a robotics team of Iranian high school students to prepare for the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge, an international robotics competition with high school teams from nearly 160 participating nations.
The Iranian students’ robot kit – containing robot parts provided by FIRST Global – was not approved for shipment to their country due to sanctions on technology exports. FIRST Global recruited the Gryphons exe to help build and program the Team Iran robot, with directions from the Iranian team via video conference.
“Our main goal is to show the world that we can do everything we want, without paying attention to the political problems,” said Amin Dadkhah Tehrani, a 15-year-old from Iran, per Courtney Rozan of NBC4 Washington. “We just want to show the world that science cannot be limited.”
Team Iran had just a few days to interact with their robot and catch up with teams that had more time to prepare for the competition. The FIRST Global Challenge took place July 16 – 18 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., to address access to clean water, one of the 14 grand challenges for engineering identified by the national engineering academies of the U.S., United Kingdom and China. Each year, a different issue of global importance will be featured as the theme of that year’s challenge, which will be held in a different nation across the world.