FIRST Global Newsletter -- December 09, 2017

Byte of... FIRST Global!

Hello, and welcome to our “Byte of…” newsletter!

This week’s newsletter is brought to you by our Global STEM Corps and Volunteer Director, Caitlin Creech and a byte of chili, a very delicious plate consumed in the United States. To make this dish you will need 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 chopped onions, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 4 cans of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of kidney beans with liquid. Start by combining the onion, garlic, and ground beef in a large stockpot and cook over medium heat until the beef is brown. Make sure to then stir in the chili powder, salt, oregano, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally so that all flavors get to know each other. Finally, stir the beans in and simmer for another 20 minutes. You can add cheddar cheese if you’d like, and you are ready to enjoy an all-time American classic.

Byte of Chili - Ms. Caitlin Creech, FIRST Global 

At a time when humanity is becoming increasingly more dependent on technology and is becoming more interested in the new discoveries the STEM leaders of today find on a regular basis, it is almost impossible to not talk about the 21st century without talking about technology. But it is also important to remember that tech is just as good as it is innovative, original, and revolutionary, traits associated with the arts. As a matter of fact, there has been an ever-growing movement to incorporate the arts into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, transforming STEM into STEAM. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about the advantages of the arts in STEM and how both fields -though very different in nature - complement each other extraordinarily well. So sit back, relax, grab a warm plate of delicious chili and enjoy the video below!

FIRST Global - Arts In STEM
STEM + Arts = STEAM Feature Video

Vol Spot!

Last week we featured a robotics team from an American high school who not only volunteered in the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge but also went out of their way to help Team Iran assemble their robot when the robot kit could not be shipped to them because of sanctions.

This week, we’d like to feature Zartaj Waseem, an extraordinary volunteer from Pakistan who served as a fundamental part of the Global STEM Corps (GSC) Advisory Team to Team Tanzania during the FGC2017 season and was also one of the many members of the judging panel during the competition. Her vast experience with other FIRST programs and her understanding of STEM education were invaluable in helping out many individuals in the FIRST Global community, including our very own FIRST Global staff! So we'd like to dedicate this space to her and give her the opportunity to tell us about her experience volunteering for the organization and how rewarding this entire journey has been for her.

Zartaj Waseem is the HOD of the Robotics & STEM Studio at Haque Academy.

Working with the youth and seeing them get excited and feel fulfilled about their achievements is what motivates me to volunteer. There's a lot to learn from these young people. In my 6 years of experience with FLL [FIRST Lego League] and this most recent experience with FIRST Global, I have met some amazing people (teams, mentors, volunteers) from around the world who I wouldn't have met otherwise.

The opportunity to volunteer made me feel a part of one single global community, beyond politics and any other differences. It is truly a blissful experience to help people and feeling great about it -- FIRST events offer us that opportunity. I have already registered my interest for FGC2018 as the experience was truly phenomenal and unforgettable. I can't wait to be in Mexico City for FGC2018.

In FGC2017 I was a Global STEM Corps Advisor for Team Tanzania, virtually mentoring the team and then I signed up to be an International Award Judge. The Judging Process was very professionally dealt with and there was a lot to learn from our Judge Advisor Andy Marshall. I learned a lot from my fellow judges and we all made a great team. Meeting Dean Kamen face to face was above everything. He has inspired me and given me all the wonderful reasons not only to be associated with FIRST but also inspired me to work in a similar manner in my own country.

I believe competitions like FIRST Global are very important to bring the whole community together. Such events and programmes show the world that if we rise above our differences, we discover that we have a lot more in common so we should work towards fighting against the problems that we face together. This to me is the key message conveyed by FIRST events. It makes our future generations realize that with perseverance and teamwork anything can be achieved.

I religiously practice the FIRST Core Values and apply it in everyday life and in my community. Such programmes do not only offer opportunities to develop our knowledge base and technological experience but also fosters life-long skills that our youth must possess to become an assertive and adept citizen.

FGC2017 Teams Recognized by Local Governments!

Upon their return home, many teams were received by not only masses of people congratulating them for their hard work during the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge, but also recognition by their local government officials. In addition to the teams featured in our previous newsletters, more and more students have met with local authorities in the past few weeks. Team Myanmar received an award from Ministry of Education at the Youth Development Festival for their outstanding performance at FGC2017 and their continued efforts to inspire a new generation of engineers in their country. “We are so proud and honored as we received that wonderful prize in such a big day”, said members of the Team.

Team Myanmar Receiving an Award from the Ministry of Education

Meanwhile, Team Indonesia, who won silver for the  Al Lahori Award for Innovation in Engineering, received the “2017 Student Appreciation Award” from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. They were praised for their skills in designing, assembling, and programming several pieces of technology, including their FGC2017 robot. We are very proud of our FIRST Global alumni and continue to work earnestly to see more students recognized for their contributions to STEM.

Team Indonesia Receiving the 2017 Student Appreciation Award

More Teams in the News!

Teams continue to have a significant impact on both their communities and those abroad! This past week we learned that Team Afghanistan, who was initially denied entry to the United States for the 2017 FIRST Global Challenge, won another major award at Robotex, one of the most important robot competitions in Europe. Meanwhile, Team Myanmar appeared in their local news, which highlighted a ceremony where they were recognized by their government for their many achievements during the FGC2017. You can read more about both stories below!

If you or your team has been featured in your country’s local news, make sure to send us your press articles at

Team Afghanistan

Team Myanmar

If your team would like to share a story, a message, a photo, or a video with the FIRST Global community or be featured in our weekly Byte of... newsletter, please reach out to!

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