STUDENTS from Davis College in Mallow have scooped the top prize in a competition to find Ireland's top young robotic engineers.
Having won the Excellence Award in the Irish round of the 2012 Vex Robotics Schools Competition, the students will travel to California in the New Year where they will go up against schools from across the world in the Vex Robotics world championships.
There, they will have the distinction of becoming the first Irish school ever to participate in the prestigious event.
The competition, sponsored by Cork based EMC, encourages schools to investigate innovative ways of teaching and learning in order to promote a wider interest among students in the fields of science and technology.
Mentored by four teachers from the school and two volunteers from EMC, the 23-strong team of students showcased two very unique robots, Munka and Lavoro, which they designed and built themselves.
They also developed their own brochures, a mascot and their own website, www.dcrobotics.weebly.com.
Davis College spokeswoman Carmel Stanton said competition judges commended the students for their huge commitment and excellent teamwork.
"Their passion for the project was very much evident through their fundraising efforts to buy matching t-shirts that had each student's role within the project on their backs," said Ms Stanton.
Their outstanding achievement was greeted with great celebrations by student, parents and staff. School Principal Denis Healy in particular praising the commitments of the four teachers from the school who mentored the project. They were Ms O'Sullivan, Mr Long, Mr Stack and Mr Kelly.
"The college now looks forward with anticipation to the international stage of the competition in Los Angeles next year," said Mr Healy.
"We are also proud of our emerging reputation as a leader of quality teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and maths, which has been highlighted through this competition," he added.