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FIRST Global Challenge 2021: Team Tunisia Goes Back in Time to Meet their Predecessors

Every great journey has a beginning, adventures along the way, lessons, and remarkable feats that are recorded in history.

Team Tunisia 2021 is not the first team that participated in FIRST Global Challenge. For us, this is a new experience and since our team needs guidance and inspiration, why not reflect on the stories of our predecessors? They maybe have some clues!

How long has it been? Was it around 4 years ago? At that time, a Tunisian team, consisting of seven members from the First Skills Club association, participated in the first edition of the international FIRST Global Challenge of robotics, which was held in 2017 in Washington DC in the USA. It was at that moment, that those teenagers set foot on a new road fulfilled with challenges and difficulties, but a very fruitful one.

Although this was the first edition of the Olympiad, they did not hold back. Later, they ended up winning the silver medal in the Albert Einstein’s Award for International Excellence thanks to their highly performant robot and the golden medal in Al Khwarizmi Award for the best supporter, given to the First Skills Club Association, which provided them with a great atmosphere and a well-designed co-working space.

Not only did they win prestigious awards, but they also met many people coming from all around the globe and learned a lot about their cultures.

” My experience in the FGC was a real life changer. I found myself immersed in different cultures and nationalities, and I couldn’t resist talking to each team and exchanging gifts with them. “ – Slim Majdoub, Spokesperson and Builder of Team Tunisia 2017.

 

[2017 Tunisian national team celebrating their success]
FIRST Global Challenge 2017 may have had ended, but it was still just another beginning for Team Tunisia. It was not over yet, as one year later, the second edition began and a new team was formed.
The former Tunisian team learned a lot from the challenge and realized many things about it. Therefore, it was their duty to transmit their knowledge to Team Tunisia 2018 and help them with the best they can to make sure the success Team Tunisia 2017 worked so hard for always carries on.

Meanwhile, the new team spent a lot of days and sleepless nights preparing themselves for the competition. At that time, they had tons more work to do than their friends, as they had to make an engineering notebook about their robot and constantly update their social media account. Fortunately, all those struggles paid off with the Outstanding Mentor Award, Social Media Award, Mansa Musa Award for Fundraising, and the gold medal in Dr. Mae Jemison Award for International Unity.

“ The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and a girl today is a leader tomorrow. ” – Mariem Mimouni, Programmer of Team Tunisia 2018.

 

[2018 Tunisian national team celebrating their success with FIRST Global Challenge judges.]

Still, there is always room for improvement. The same strategy was followed, as Team Tunisia 2018, along with the one that came before it, assisted Team Tunisia 2019 in FIRST Global Challenge: Ocean Opportunities and it went very well. The team did not just focus on the technical side of the challenge, but also always made sure to promote themselves on social media by recording for example podcasts and videos of their cleaning campaigns on beaches.
In the end, the team won the silver medal in Albert Einstein’s Award for International Excellence and the Safety Award.

 

[Team Tunisia 2019 standing on the podium for winning Albert Einstein’s Award for International Excellence.]

A few months after that big achievement, the COVID-19 pandemic stroke the world and everything moved online, including the FIRST Global Challenge of course. The 2020 edition of the Olympiad was held online and the new Team Tunisia 2020 did their best to work online for the first time. Although they worked hard, they could not win any awards, except experience and lessons that could help them in the future.

 

[Picture of Team Tunisia 2020 with the mentors and some of the Tunisian FIRST Global Challenge alumna.]
The journey was hard for our predecessors, but fun and rich. Right now, the torch is passed on to us. It is their turn to help and ours to shine and prove ourselves.

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