St. Gerald’s College take 1st Place in the FIRST Inspiration Award at the 2010/11 World Final of the FIRST LEGO League in St. Louis, Missouri USA
On Saturday 30th April in the America’s Center, St. Louis, Missouri, Team SAP Ireland, the team from St. Gerald’s College Castlebar won 1st place in the Inspiration Award at the World Final of the FIRST ® Body Forward 2010/11 Challenge beating 80 other teams from 28 countries around the world.
The Inspiration Award is considered one of the top 3 awards given at the World Finals:
Team SAP Ireland won the award based on a number of factors:
- Their robot design and programming
- Their innovative and inspirational biomedical engineering project based on the development of an innovative phone app to help anyone suffering from a condition that may cause collapse e.g. diabetes, heart conditions, old age etc.
- The fact that they had to not only beat all the teams in Ireland but also all the teams in the UK in order to qualify for the World Final.
- The inspiration they have and are currently giving to other Irish teams to go on to be successful in both Ireland and the UK.
- Inspiring other teams to win CREST awards (Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology). Team SAP Ireland were presented, along with a number of other teams, with a CREST award by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese at a ceremony in St. Pat’s College, Drumcondra on 22nd February. This was the first time that these awards, given by the British Science Association were given in the Republic of Ireland.
Earlier in the year on Saturday 22nd January in the University of Loughborough England, Team SAP Ireland won the UK & Ireland final from 27 other teams from around the UK.
They had won the Irish final only two weeks previously competing against 23 teams from around the country in the Radisson Hotel Galway and were following in the footsteps of many previous successful college teams:
The St. Gerald’s College 2010/11 team consists of the following TY students:
Paul Mc Donagh
Team Coach: Mr. Declan Askin
This year’s competition was organised in Ireland by Robotics Ireland (www.roboticsireland.com ) and sponsored by SAP, one of the leading software development companies in the world, along with the Medtronic Foundation, one of the leading medical technology companies. They also provide valuable technical assistance to each team during preparations for each event.
The team are especially grateful to SAP as they are currently helping them develop the idea they developed as part of their research project on Biomedical Engineering. The idea is based on a phone application for use on smart phones that will help sufferers of any condition that may cause a person to collapse such as diabetes, heart conditions or old age. The app will help these people live with their condition more easily and with greater peace of mind. SAP were also the teams main financial sponsors for the trip to the World Final in St. Louis USA.
FIRST® is an American foundation (For Inspiration & Recognition in Science & Technology) that has been running this competition globally for the last 10 years. Last year more than 240,000 competitors comprising approx 24,000 teams from 56 countries took part worldwide in the 9 to 16 year old category. See www.usfirst.org for further info.
The competition theme for 2010-11 is called ‘Body Forward’ requiring teams to explore the cutting-edge
world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries; overcome illnesses, disabilities and build healthier, stronger bodies.
Bernard Kirk, Director of The Galway Education Centre who hosted the Irish competition also travelled with the team to the UK and USA. He stated, “To have an Irish school represent the UK and Ireland in a World Championship is a great achievement and to have them win one of the main awards is an extraordinary achievement. We believe this is indicative of the high level of student skill, talent and teacher dedication we have in this country. We are thrilled that Irish students are being recognised as being among the best in the world!”