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Students from York Country Day School’s Cyber Hounds robotics team will be heading to Bath, England, for an international robotics competition in June, but first, they’re trying to raise money to make the trip a reality.

The students, ranging from grades 6 through 8, ranked second in a regional competition hosted at Penn State Berks and earned first in core values and robot design, according to York Country Day lower school engineering teacher Susan Danner.

The team’s performance allowed them to qualify for the First Lego League International Open Championship, taking place June 23 in Bath, England.

Middle school and high school science teacher Liz Charleston said she believes the core values accolade is among the competition's most prestigious.

“You’re not just learning robotics, you’re learning to work together as a team," she said, adding that it is one of the most “challenging” skills for any group.

At the First Lego League competition in Bath, students plan to present a project for the Lego League’s animal-centered season.

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York Country Day School's "Cyber Hounds" practice with their EV3 Lego robot in preparation for a competition in Bath, England in June.

The project is called Project P.A.R.T.N.E.R: Portable Audio Rehabilitation Therapy for New Environmental Residents. Students made a device that hooks onto a dog’s collar and can play sounds that prompt a negative response from the animal.

The students plan to demonstrate how the device will lessen a dog’s fearful response to sounds such as vacuums, printers and lightning, among many others.

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“This is way bigger than anything we’ve done before,” Caroline Danner, a sixth-grader at the school, said about the team’s upcoming trip.

“This is huge,” added Tyler Wertz, an eighth-grader at York Country Day.

Caroline and Tyler said the group brainstormed for several hours before narrowing their focus on audio rehabilitation, and ultimately, an audio collar.

“My dog’s scared of balloons,” Caroline said, “and this (device) would help with that.”

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York Country Day School's "Cyber Hounds" practice with their EV3 Lego robot in preparation for a competition in Bath, England in June.

Caroline, Tyler and six other students will be heading to Bath for the four-day competition, and although some of the students said they are nervous, they are preparing as much as they can. Early Thursday evening, students were practicing their robot’s timing after school in the robotics classroom.

For the four-day trip, the eight students and several teachers will need to cover travel and lodging expenses, and they are trying to raise funds.

Tyler said they have raised a little more than $6,000 but have an ultimate funding goal of $20,000.

“We’re going to raise money as close to (June 21) as possible,” he said.

The team will be attending several events over the next few months to attempt to raise money.

To find out how to donate and a full list of fundraising events, visit the team’s fundraising website at www.cyberhoundstobath.com.

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