A GROUP of students from Davis College in Mallow is this week in Los Angeles pitting their engineering skills against pupils from schools across the world.
The nine-strong team will make history by becoming the first ever Irish participants at the annual VEX Robotics World Championships.
Last November the team won the prestigious Excellence Award in the Irish round of the competition, giving them the right to travel to California where they go head-to-head against almost 400 other teams from 24 countries across the globe.
The competition encouraged schools to look at innovative ways of teaching and learning in order to promote a wider interest among pupils within the fields of science and technology.
Under the guidance of four teachers and two mentors from sponsors EMC, a 23-strong team from Davis College designed and built two very special robots - Munka and Lavoro.
They also developed their own brochures, a mascot, their own website, www.dcrobotics.weebly.com, and a twitter account (Robotic_DC).
However, after the win the students went back to the drawing board, retiring Munka and Lavoro in favour of a new robot based on the design principles of a combine harvester, which they built during their free time.
The new robot will take part in the VEX Sack Attack, the object of which is to score points by picking up sacks and placing them in colour coded floor goals.
A spokesperson for Davis College said it was proud of its emerging reputation in the field of education in science and technology - a point underlined by their participation in the VEX Robotics World Championships.
"The VEX programme has been an exciting and engaging addition to the curriculum for our students this year. The educational value has been profound and has exposed our students to new areas in science, technology, engineering and maths in a practical fashion," said the spokesperson.
"We are excited at the prospect of competing on the world stage and look forward to representing Cork and Ireland in California."