Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the National Student Robotics Team, which won a gold and a bronze medal at this year's "FIRST Global Challenge" Robotics Olympiad, held in October in Switzerland, at the Maximou Mansion.


The Prime Minister congratulated the team members and their coaches, asked them about their experiences in the international competition and their ambitions and aspirations. He highlighted the importance of familiarising students with new technologies and cultivating digital skills from an early age, as well as encouraging them to explore practical or innovative applications of the expertise they acquire, while encouraging the young scientists to visit schools and encourage young children to get involved in robotics.


"The very idea that you could go to schools and talk about your own experience and become mentors to younger children, primary school children, who in 10 years time will be where you are, is of huge importance," Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.


The teaching of robotics has now been integrated into the compulsory school curriculum already from kindergarten, through the Skills Workshops, while Greece has included in the National Recovery and Competitiveness Plan the supply of about 177,000 robotics educational kits to better equip schools.

Another Greek distinction

The students, who come from public and private schools, spoke to the Prime Minister about the preparation required and the projects they designed and presented at the Olympiad, in which teams from more than 180 countries took part.


The Greek team took first place in the Katherine Johnson Award category and third place in the very important XPRIZE Innovator Award category, a prize awarded to teams that develop innovative solutions to combat climate change.


The Greek entry in the XPRIZE Innovator category was a proposal to reduce the energy consumption required to heat and cool hotel facilities. It is based on the use of pumps and allows more energy to be stored in the same volume. The Greek design is combined with special software for optimal electricity consumption. The whole system helps to reduce the environmental footprint.


"I am really impressed by how advanced the product you have built is," the Prime Minister said.


The children noted that their invention has attracted interest for commercial exploitation from the private sector, and the Prime Minister encouraged the students to register their patent, adding that Greece has seen a doubling of patents in recent times.


The students also presented to Kyriakos Mitsotakis the process by which they designed and built the robot "Aeolos". The documented and detailed description of the construction and the code used gave the Greek team the first place in the Katherine Johnson Award for Engineering Documentation category. They also asked for the support of the Prime Minister and the government to claim the organization of an Olympiad or world championship in robotics in the coming years, with Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressing that he will help to achieve this goal.


The team was formed on the initiative of the Educational Organization Eduact, which is the Competent Body and National Organizer for Greece, Cyprus and Balkan countries. The Group, as well as the Eduact organisation, has the support of Regional Association of Municipalities of Central Macedonia as well as the support of companies such as TITAN, Kleeman, Hellas Gold, Deloitte, Aigeas AMKE, Accenture, Hellenic Petroleum, DIOS, etc. and the US Embassy in Greece. Eduact's training program has been implemented in the framework of the Skills Workshops, both in the pilot and in the generalized implementation of the action.


The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Niki Kerameus and the Member of the party 'New Democracy' Konstantinos Kyranakis.