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FIRST® Global Challenge Unites 160+ Nations in Mexico City to Inspire Next Generation of Innovators and Future World Leaders


Ricardo Salinas Hosts Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and High School Students
From Around the World for International Robotics Event

, a not-for-profit organization established to promote science
and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all
nations through the sport of robotics, brought together students from
more than 160 nations last week at Arena Ciudad de Mexico for the FIRST
Global Challenge, a high-profile, international robotics competition
convening high-school-aged participants who work together to solve
global challenges.

Ricardo Salinas, chairman of Grupo Salinas, founding member of FIRST
Global, and chairman and host of the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge
in Mexico City, recognized the passion of the young competitors in
creating and driving robots. "This is the best demonstration that this
world can become a better world if we all work together," he said.

The focus of the 2018 FIRST
Global Challenge
was "Energy
," in which shifting alliances of three nations competed to
fuel power plants, initiate renewable energy plans and build a resilient
transmission network in a simulated exercise using robots. The event
highlighted the importance of various energy sources and making them
more sustainable, excited students to learn and discover STEM through
robotics, and inspired students and adults alike on the importance of
collaborating across places of origin, creeds, religions, and races to
build a better tomorrow.

This competition inspires not only those who participate, but also many
more from the teams' home countries. The inaugural FIRST Global
Challenge was held last year with 157 nations. It's based on the
principles of FIRST,
a K-12 STEM education nonprofit founded by inventor Dean
in 1989.

"I've learned through FIRST that if we teach the world's young
people the common language of STEM, they'll learn how to work together
across cultural and religious differences," said Dean Kamen, president
of DEKA Research & Development and founder of FIRST and FIRST
Global. "Through the excitement of an Olympic-style sporting event,
the FIRST Global Challenge is uniting students around the world
to solve the greatest problems we face as a global community."

Official sponsors of the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge include:
Bezos Family Foundation, TE Connectivity Foundation, Qualcomm
Incorporated, Royalty Pharma/Alianzia AMZA, DeKa Foundation, Intel,
Shell, Baker Hughes GE, FedEx, Tec de Monterrey, and MexiChem.

"At the TE Connectivity Foundation, we believe that building strong
communities and increasing access to education and careers in
engineering and technology helps create a sustainable global workforce
and meaningful work opportunities for all," Kathleen Ambrose, vice
president global government affairs and corporate responsibility for TE
Connectivity and executive director for TE Connectivity Foundation. "FIRST
Global fulfills that goal and takes it a step further, focusing the
championship challenges in Mexico City on solving a social problem. The
students we met have overwhelmed us with their commitment and
brilliance, and we could not be happier to see our Foundation mission
come to life in this significant event."

"Qualcomm is proud to support FIRST Global and the amazing
student participants from around the world," said Salvador Blasco, vice
president, business development, for Qualcomm Incorporated and general
manager of the Mexico office. "This is especially important in places
where Qualcomm operates and does business as a way to engage with young
talent and give back to the community."

"FIRST Global is a driving force in educational innovation,
aspiring to reach youth, whatever their background and wherever they
live, who share the dream of invention," said Harry Elsinga, chief human
resources officer for Baker Hughes, a GE company. "As a global company
committed to inventing smarter ways to bring energy to the world, we are
proud to support the organization by way of The Baker Hughes Foundation
and through student mentorships in locations around the world, inspiring
and nurturing interest in STEM education and careers to develop the next
generation of innovators, changemakers and leaders equipped to solve
global challenges."

This year's games concluded with exciting final championship matches and
an award ceremony, during which teams were awarded medals in several
categories – both qualitative and quantitative in nature – highlighting
the qualities that FIRST Global aims to inspire in the STEM
leaders of tomorrow. The winners (listed below) for the qualitative
awards were selected by a group of internationally selected judges.

1. FIRST Global Winning Alliance Award
Awarded to
the three teams in the winning alliance in the final match

Winning Alliance: Romania, Singapore, Germany

2. FIRST Global Finalist Alliances Award
Awarded to the
three-team alliance who placed second in the final match and the winning
alliance in the third-place match

a. Runner-up: Maldives,
Iceland, Colombia
b. Second Runner Up: United Kingdom, Georgia,

3. FIRST Global Challenge Award
Awarded to teams that
earn the most ranking points (based on win-lose-tie record)

Gold: Romania
b. Silver: United States of America
c. Bronze:

4. FIRST Global Grand Challenge Award
Awarded to teams
that accrue the most cumulative points over the course of the competition

Gold: Romania
b. Silver: Singapore
c. Bronze: Moldova

5. Zhang Heng Award for Engineering Design
Awarded to teams
whose robot exhibits excellent engineering and displays elegance and
effectiveness during the Challenge

a. Gold: United States of
b. Silver: Honduras
c. Bronze: Vietnam

6. Ustad Ahmad Lahori Award for Innovation in Engineering
to teams that demonstrate creativity and innovation in building their
robot to complete an aspect of the Challenge

a. Gold: Norway
Silver: Italy
c. Bronze: Turkey

7. Dr. Mae Jemison Award for International Unity
Awarded to
teams that emulate the best qualities of FIRST Global by breaking down
barriers, demonstrating Gracious Professionalism, and building bridges
with fellow teams

a. Gold: Tunisia
b. Silver: Latvia
Bronze: Israel

8. Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli Award for Courageous Achievement
to teams that exhibit a "can-do" attitude throughout the Challenge, even
under difficult circumstances, or when things do not go as planned

Gold: Hope
b. Silver: Venezuela
c. Bronze: Zimbabwe
José de Caldas Award for Sustainable Excellence
Awarded to an
individual who helped contribute to strong and sustainable FIRST Global

d. Gold: Barbara Gomez Navarro
e. Silver: Omar
f. Bronze: Bibia Sharma

9. Al-Khwarizmi Award for Outstanding Supporter
Awarded to
institutions, sponsors, or governments that assisted a FIRST Global team

Gold: Mexico
b. Silver: Uruguay
c. Bronze: Nigeria

10. Sofia Kovalevskaya Award for International Journey
to teams that documented and shared their FIRST Global experience with
the rest of the FIRST Global community

a. Gold: Turkmenistan
Silver: Algeria
c. Bronze: Nigeria

11. Albert Einstein Award for FIRST Global International
Awarded to the teams whose robots performed the best
during the FIRST Global Challenge and exemplified all the tenets of the
FIRST Global community

a. Gold: Romania
b. Silver: Mexico
Bronze: Poland

12. Clara Barton Award for Helping Hands
Awarded to teams who
help other teams in a time of need.

a. Gold: India
Silver: China
c. Bronze: Guam

13. Katherine Johnson Award for Engineering Documentation
to teams that demonstrate the journey they took in building their robot

Gold: Germany
b. Silver: Albania
c. Bronze: Peru

14. International Enthusiasm Award
Awarded to teams who support
each other and other teams throughout the Challenge

a. Gold:
b. Silver: Philippines
c. Bronze: Malaysia

15. Mansa Musa Award for Fundraising
Awarded to teams who
demonstrated to FIRST Global that they made a good-faith effort to

1. Chile
2. Iceland
3. United States of
4. India
5. Tunisia
6. Slovenia
7. Trinidad
and Tobago
8. Venezuela
9. New Zealand
10. Cameroon

16. Walt Disney Award for Imagination and Creativity
1. South Africa
3. Indonesia

17. Judges Award - Technical
During the course of
the competition, the judging panel may decide a team's unique efforts,
performance or dynamics merit recognition.

1. Slovakia
3. Sri Lanka

18. Judges Award - Non-technical
During the course
of the competition, the judging panel may decide a team's unique
efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition.

1. Nicaragua
3. Central African Republic

19. Outstanding Mentor
Awarded to mentors who went above and
beyond the call of duty for their team.

1. Benin
2. Team
3. Tunisia
4. Morocco
5. Jamaica
6. Brazil

In keeping with FIRST Global's mission to inspire science and
technology leadership and innovation internationally, the FIRST
Global Challenge will take place in a different nation each year. The
organization wants to empower all young people through science and
technology and is working earnestly to recruit teams from countries that
could not accompany us this year.

About FIRST Global
mission is to inspire science and technology leadership and
innovation in young people from all nations in order to increase
understanding, instill the importance of cooperation, address the
world's most pressing issues, and improve the quality of life for all.
By showing the youth of the world that if they communicate, cooperate,
and work together – even in a competition – using the tools of science
and engineering to find solutions to the world's greatest challenges,
they will be able to accomplish great things and become part of a truly
global community. For more information, visit FIRST Global's website,
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