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Team Tunisia recommends leveraging power of sustainable solutions

After surviving a grueling two-week preparation camp, a team of young, talented Tunisians has forged its way into the FIRST Global Challenge 2019 in Dubai. It’s clear that they’re here to make their mark and show that they stand out among the other 190 competing countries.

To raise funds for their trip to Dubai, the youngsters travelled to a remote island as part of the Ocean Opportunities challenge, where they participated in clean-up activities and created eco-friendly products and solutions that were monetized and sold to the public. Among them were DIY pencil cases made from recycled water bottles and seashell earrings. How’s that for innovation? The exercise aimed to highlight efficient ways to utilize the available resources and support the efforts to preserve our oceans. 

“We took octopus bones and turned them into a natural teeth whitener. There is no damage to your teeth, and it’s completely natural,” boasts 16-year-old Mohamed Karim Mednini, Videographer and 3D Designer of Team Tunisia, as he pulls out a container filled with white powder.

“We use creative ideas to solve problems in the world through modern technologies. But it’s more than that – it’s about trying to find the best ways to not hurt our planet Earth,” says Zaineb Maalej, Media and Social Media Manager of the team.

It’s clear this competition means more than just the prize.

“What’s good about robotics is that you solve community problems that an ordinary person wouldn’t be able to,” adds Mohamed. 

The FIRST Global Challenge 2019 in Dubai is about much more than the technicalities of building a robot – it also teaches the young generation soft skills that will come handy upon entering the workforce.

“How you present your project, how you communicate with others in the market is important. They’re preparing us for what comes after school because no one else does that,” says Mohamed.

“We need leaders. We don’t want followers who tick all the boxes that society outlines for us. We try to break the stereotypes about women who don’t pursue STEM-related fields of study,” adds Fatma Rekik, Team Tunisia’s 15-year-old Spokesperson, Builder and Engineering Notebook Writer.

The Tunisian contestants believe the power of the media is crucial in showing the value of their work to the masses. In addition to showcasing their efforts, they are leveraging the media to introduce their team members back in Tunisia who were unable to join them in Dubai.

“We worked hard, but we had a lot fun in the process. It brought us closer as a team,” Mohamed concludes.

Zeinab proceeds to take out her melodica, and her teammates sing a tune they created about children and the world. It calls for peace and justice in the present and speaks about how youth will usher in a better tomorrow. And there’s no doubt this particular group will lead the way.


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