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DateFriday, May 17, 2013

Dublin Boys Win Robotic Award

Team of Seven Schoolboys from Tallaght Win One of the Top Awards at First Lego European Robot Championships



130517_Citywise.JPGA team of Dublin schoolboys has scooped one of the top awards at the Open European Championships of the First Lego League robotics tournament. The First Lego League, an alliance between FIRST and Lego Group, is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds designed to get children excited about science and technology, and teach them valuable employment and life skills



The Citywise team, Daire Hennessy (aged 14), Himanshu Singh (16),  Liam McMahon Buggy (13), Jonathan Toah (15),  Luke Whelan (11), Vlad Medves (13), and Jakub Palusinski (13) was sponsored by SAP Ireland whose staff helped the boys to design and build a Lego robot and also develop an app to remind older people to take vital medicines. They beat 52 teams from 34 countries around the world to win the Gracious Professional Award for their team spirit.



Team member Himanshu Singh, said: "The standard of the robot section was very high. There were teams from China, Brazil and UK whose robots were extremely advanced. But we learned a lot for next year's competition."



The competition, held in Paderborn, Germany May 7th - 10th, was split into three parts. The Robot Game involved designing, building and testing a robot. For the project section teams developed solutions to improve the quality of life for senior citizens by helping them remain independent, and connected in their communities. Finally, the boys were judged on core values, their teamwork and professionalism throughout the competition.



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The Tallaght schoolboys were the only Irish team in the competition, with the overall Champions' Award going to a team from Brazil. Teams travelled from all over the globe including the USA, China, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the contest.



Citywise team co-ordinator Christopher Smith was very proud of the team's achievement. He said: "The standard was extraordinarily high and we were delighted that the judges acknowledged the professionalism of our approach. To win one of the top eleven categories was a great credit to the hard work and dedication the boys put in over the past five months."

Smith added: "Our team are all members of the Citywise after-school Robotics Club in Jobstown and they have given an enormous amount of time to prepare for the European Open, despite the pressures of exams for some. Since they won the Irish title in January they have worked hard to improve their robot design. For their project they developed a voice recognition app which will remind older people of their engagements, appointments and even when to take their medicine. But what really impressed the judges was the way the lads worked together, their continual good spirit and their good humour despite the pressure of competition. They were a real team."



Fergus Gloster, the European managing director of Marketo, teaches maths once a week at the Citywise centre. On the achievement of the boys, he said: "This reward is an international recognition of the contribution by Citywise to enhancing the educational needs of our young teenagers. With the correct help and focus Citywise has shown that Irish teenagers can operate at the highest levels."







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