Tralee Girl Guide Wins Two Awards At All-Ireland Finals

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Patricia Gutteridge from Tralee (centre) with Irish Girl Guides Ambassador Niamh Shaw and Aoibheann Griffin from Clonmel pictured at the FIRST LEGO League All Ireland Final on March 8.

A TRALEE Girl Guide was part of an Irish Girl Guides (IGG) team that scooped two awards at the FIRST Lego League All Ireland Final that took place on Sunday, March 8  in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin.

Patricia Gutteridge (16) of St Brendan’s Senior Branch, Tralee, was a member of the IGG Munster Monsters team that secured a place at the All Ireland Final last month when they received an award for Best Robot Design at the FIRST Lego League Regional Finals.

The Munster Monsters team, whose other members hail from Cork and Tipperary, came first place in the Robot Knockout section of the All Ireland Final.

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They did this by scoring the highest points of all the teams in a series of challenges on a themed playing field with their automated robot, Paella, which they designed, built and programmed themselves.

The team also won a Special Judges Award in recognition of their research, design and programming skills. Their research project saw them come up with a proposal for a hydro electric dam to combat flooding in towns in the South West of Ireland.

Patricia said: “It was very exciting to get into the All Ireland Final, particularly as our team of six were from three different counties and it was very difficult to meet up to work on our projects together. When we did a final calculation, we had collectively travelled more than 35,000 km! I believe it was because of this commitment and dedication that our team won the Judges Award.

“I think the proudest moment of the whole journey for me was beating the 23 other teams to win the Robot Knockout Award,” she continued.

“When I first set out in this competition I had never done any coding before so there was a lot to learn and, seeing our robot firstly win Best Design Award at the Regional Finals and then go on to win the Robot Knockout in the All Ireland Final was just so amazing! It proved to me that hard work really does pay off. I am so grateful to the Irish Girl Guides for giving me the opportunity to take part in this competition.”

FIRST stands for ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’ and the FIRST Lego League, which takes place in over 90 countries, encourages children and young people aged 11-16 to think like scientists and engineers, developing practical solutions to real-world issues.

The teams operate under a signature core set of values, which include creative thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, communication and the spirit of friendly competition and co-operation.

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