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A Group Of Syrian Teens Took A Refugee Robot Named "Robogee" To The White House

The little robot who could won the high school students a spot at an international robotics competition and a trip to visit the nation's capital.

Last updated on April 27, 2016, at 2:50 p.m. ET

Posted on April 15, 2016, at 2:05 p.m. ET

Hollywood producers take note: this is your next "scrappy underdogs make good" story and it involves a team of teenage refugees and their robot.

These are the members of the "Hope for Syria" robotics team, based out of Beirut, Lebanon. The programming class that the students took part in is part of a project run by Lebanon-based NGO Multi-Aid Programs (MAPs) known as the Continuing Education and Community Service program.
MAPS / CECS

These are the members of the "Hope for Syria" robotics team, based out of Beirut, Lebanon. The programming class that the students took part in is part of a project run by Lebanon-based NGO Multi-Aid Programs (MAPs) known as the Continuing Education and Community Service program.

Despite only being founded last December, the team entered an annual international robotics competition called VEX. This year's challenge: build a robot that can not only be remotely controlled to pick up and throw balls but THROW THEM ON ITS OWN.

View this video on YouTube

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So they built themselves a robot.

And even though they'd never done it before, their robot — dubbed "Robogee," as in "robot refugee" — worked pretty darn well.

The team took Robogee out for a spin in March at the qualifying showdown at the American University in Beirut, taking on 13 other high school teams from across the country.

Not only did Robogee exceed expectations, Hope for Syria won out, winning the team a spot in the VEX Worlds competition in Louisville, KY. There they compete against students from countries like Russia, Egypt, China and the U.S.

With that three of the students — Abdul Rahman, 16, Ahmjad, 17, and Mulham, 18 — were on their way to the U.S. to compete, along with their coach and mentor.

And compete they did! They didn't win but the team "succeeded in delivering a message of peace by participating in this competition," MAPS said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News. "Also, a message to all refugees that they can make a difference in spite of all hardships and difficulties"

MAPS

And they didn't walk away empty-handed! Hope of Syria took home the "Award of Judges" thanks to their passion and spirit, MAPS said.

MAPS

As if that wasn't enough, the teens got to VISIT THE WHITE HOUSE and show off their creation to the National Security Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy.

.@NSC44 & @whitehouseostp met Hope of Syria robotics team, a group of Syrian refugee students, competing in #STEM:

A+ job, Robogee and team!

Lucasfilm

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