A group of Calgary and area students will soon head to Dubai to represent Canada at the ‘Robotic Olympics’.

The team, made up of students between ages 12 and 16, will compete against more than 2000 participants from 192 other countries at the ‘First Global’ challenge, which kicks off Oct. 24.

It's an opportunity for a group of southern Albertan teens to share their stories with students from across the planet, and hopefully to get exposed to the stories and innovations of other young people.

At the moment, there's just one problem: unless they can pull off a last-minute turnaround, only four teammates will be able to make the trip, because of about a$6000 shortfall in funding.

Money problems haven't dulled the students' excitement level, however.

"I'm super excited to go and learn about other people’s stories, learn about other kids around the world," said 16-year-old Tristan Norris.

The theme of the competition is ‘ocean opportunities’, with the goal of building a robot to clean the world’s ocean.

"To score points we either shoot the balls into a barge in the centre or push them into select area," Benjamin Wang told CTV News.

The event is designed to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and leadership in future leaders.

The team prides itself on its diversity and is made up of teens from Siksika, Kainai, Alexis and Sandy Lake First Nations, as well as Metis, Chinese, French and English students.

That diversity of experience is one of the group's strengths, said Wang.

"Many perspectives on one team is really great," said Wang who missed the age cut off and won't be attending.

"It’s a variety of people with different ideas and they can all add onto the robot."