back to top

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.

Originally posted on
Updated on

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.

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

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.

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"

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:

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Hayes Brown at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.