Robot-Building Virginia Teens Help Iranian Team Via Skype - NBC 7 San Diego
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Robot-Building Virginia Teens Help Iranian Team Via Skype

“We just want to show the world that science cannot be limited”

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    1110829
    2
    Germany
    117523
    3
    Canada
    85619
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Robot-Building Virginia Teens Help Iranian Teens Via Skype

    When a group of Iranian teenagers couldn't receive the parts needed to compete in the robot Olympics, a Virginia high school robotics team stepped in. News4's Doreen Gentzler reports. (Published Monday, July 17, 2017)

    Building a robot is hard. Now try doing it over Skype.

    A group of Iranian teenagers was accepted to compete in the the FIRST Global Challenge, a robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue math and science, in Washington, D.C. this week.

    But sanctions on their country blocked them from ordering parts from the United States. High schoolers from George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia, stepped up to help, building their robot for them over Skype. 

    The American and Iranian high schoolers communicated for three months that way, with the Iranians sending sketches and diagrams so the American students could build their robot for them.

    Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    [NATL] Parkland Shooting Survivor Calls 'BS' on Politicians' Gun Stance

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High senior Emma Gonzalez had a message for president Donald Trump and for other politicians on their failure to enact sensible gun laws: "BS." Gonzalez was one of several survivors to speak at a rally held outside the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to speak out against the gun lobby.

    (Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018)

    “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. “We just want to show the world that science cannot be limited.”

    For their first Skype session, the Iranians stayed awake until 2 a.m. to accommodate the nine-hour time difference.

    “That was just kind of crazy,” said Kirstin Springer, a member of the Virginia team. “We are talking to people all the way on the other side of the world, who have such different life experiences than us.”

    The Virginia team's captain volunteers at NOVA Labs, a programming and engineering space in Reston, Virginia. She connected with FIRST Global leaders there, who asked her team to help the Iranians.

    Nearly 160 teams from around the world are competing Sunday through Tuesday in the FIRST Global Challenge. They face off against each other using unique robots built from a uniform kit, packed by FIRST Global with gears, pulleys and more.

    Not every Iranian student spoke English, so they relied on a few to translate their designs for the Virginia students.

    Russians Indicted for Alleged Election Meddling Conspiracy

    [NATL] Russians Indicted for Alleged Election Meddling Conspiracy

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announces indictments against 13 Russians and three Russian entities accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 16, 2018)

    “It was a trusting experience for all of us,” Tehrani said. “That was the first time we’ve done something like this. We make their ideas better, they make our ideas better.”

    Tehrani and two teammates made it to D.C. to compete. A fourth classmate couldn't make the trip.  

    Team Iran is competing against teams from India, Vietnam and Austria, among others.