TUSTIN, CA – A SoCal team of Indian-American kids have won the 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge XPRIZE, also named as “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” The four future scientists with interests ranging from filmmaking, acting, 3D printing, math and robotics are Nadia (11), Rayyan (10), Kamran (10) and Aleena (8).
XPRIZE and Google selected four teams as winners in an international competition meant for kids aged 8-17. The participating children were asked to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.
The student competition, which began in April 2015, attracted 235 teams from 29 countries who entered phase one by submitting a written or video entry about what inspires them about the moon. Teams comprised of 2-4 members (ages 8-17) and one team captain at least 18 years old. A panel of judges selected 30 teams to qualify for phase two, each of which was provided one of three platform systems to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission based on the moon tale they submitted in phase one. In addition, they were asked provide a demonstration to the judges via live webcast and contribute to STEM education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community. With a passion for science and technology, the SoCal team’s winning project used the VEX IQ Robotics platform and built a lunar landscape that features a resort that showcases state of the art features for its visitors. The winning teams will travel to Japan in October to meet up with the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams who are gathering for an annual Team Summit in Tokyo and share their idea and project with them. The other three teams are Linked Lunas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Mecaliks (Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico) and Moonshot (Brooklyn, N.Y. and Naples, Italy).
“We are so excited about winning this competition. All our hard work over the summer paid off. We can’t wait to go to Japan” said Aleena Ali (one the youngest members of the team) expressing her delight over the win.