Johannesburg — SAP Africa NXTreme team
The SAP Africa NXTreme team are jetting off to Atlanta to represent South Africa at the International First Lego League (FLL) championships, to be held at the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Centre from 14 to 17 April 2010, courtesy of SAP.
They are the winners of the South African FLL national championships held last December at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Johannesburg. The team will compete against 84 international teams and this will be the second time that NXTreme represents South Africa at the FLL international tournament, the first being in 2007.
The SAP NXTreme, coached and mentored by Dr Paul Stapelberg, became the first team in the history of the South African championships to score a full 400 points on the board game (robotic performance). In addition, they also became the first team to surpass 90% in all categories of the competition with an overall score of 92%. This outstanding performance enabled the SAP NXTreme team to be crowned as overall champions of the FLL 2009 in South Africa.
The First Lego League, developed in partnership with the Lego Company and the USA-based organisation FIRST, is an international robotics team competition for children aged between nine to 16 years. It is designed with a mission to introduce them to real-world engineering challenges as well as the fun and excitement of technology, to assist in developing their abilities to work in teams and stimulate creative problem solving.
Twenty-one teams participated in the South African national championships, including seven SAP teams. SAP walked away with four prominent awards.
David Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of Sci-Bono Discovery Centre – South Africa’s flagship science centre, says: “We were really excited when we were invited to host the South African FLL tournament for local schools. The FLL gives children the opportunity to turn mathematical and scientific theory into real, challenging and enjoyable applied engineering. This programme will equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully embark on careers in all areas of the technical economy. We are fully behind the SAP team and we wish them well in Atlanta.”
Teams that participate in the FLL tournament work together to understand and solve real world challenges. The teams research the challenge topic, which is unveiled to FLL international teams across the world each September, and relates to problem solving or opportunities facing the world today. They develop a strategy on how to score as many points as possible for their invention, prepare a presentation, document all the work and finally refine an autonomous robot capable of completing the various missions of the FLL international “Robot-Game” using the LEGO MINDSTORMS technology.
This season’s challenge topic is Smart Move, emphasising the challenges of transport in the world today, and the kids have to investigate a transport problem in their community and suggest solutions. The robot performs tasks on the play table, and they are measured by the number of successful tasks.
Sunil Geness, Corporate Affairs Executive at SAP, says: “SAP regards the development of science and math skills to be critical for Africa’s competitiveness. This is why SAP is fundamentally involved with the sponsorship of the FLL as it combines the use of research, presentation, innovative thinking and team work in a fun-filled environment. Skills development is and remains a high priority in Africa and this programme provides the opportunities to develop scarce skills.”
SAP has high hopes for their team and believes that they will make South Africa proud.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 95 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.
|SAP SA||Ogilvy Public Relations South Africa|
|Farai Mutiwanyuka||Raphala Mogase|
|(+27) 11 235 6079||(+27) 11 709 9609|