LOS ANGELES, CA, October 6, 2015 — /EPR EDUCATION NEWS/ — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and Google today announced Moonshot, cousins ages 10 and 12 from Brooklyn, New York, and Naples, Italy, is a grand prize winner in the 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge, also considered the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” MOONBOTS is an international competition that encourages the next generation of space explorers and innovators by inviting kids ages 8-17 to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.

Moonshot team members Sasha Cipani, 10, who lives in Naples, Italy; and Dario Cipani, 12, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his mom and team captain Sara Cipani; didn’t let distance and time zones get in the way of their shared love of the moon. They worked together online to create their video submission, and then built and programmed their one-of-a-kind simulated lunar mission together using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotic platform during Dario’s family vacation to Italy last summer. Their inspiration was Luna, Dario’s sister and Sasha’s cousin, and the idea that the moon we all share can bring people together — just as it brought their family together.

Later this month, the cousins will take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan together to meet the official teams competing for a $30 million dollar Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a privately funded robot on the moon.

“Team Moonshot showed ingenuity and innovation in their robotic building and programming, and were creative and imaginative in the way they interpreted their moon ‘tale,’” said Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “Dario and Sasha were incredibly engaging, and their mission will provide inspiration for kids all over the world.”

In addition to developing their lunar rover, the cousins contributed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by sharing their innovation with underprivileged children through Associazione Quartieri Spagnoli Onlus – a nonprofit organization in Italy.
The kids’ competition attracted 235 teams from 29 countries, who entered phase one by submitting a written or video entry about what inspires them about the moon.

Teams are comprised of 2-4 members (ages 8-17) and one team captain at least 18 years old. A panel of judges selected 30 teams to qualify for phase two, each of which was provided one of three platform systems (LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO Meccanoid G15 KS) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission based on the moon tale they submitted in phase one. In addition, they were asked to contribute to STEM education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community.

Along with Moonshot, other grand prize winners are: Mecaliks of Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico; Team GalacTECHs of Tustin, Calif.; and Linked Lunas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has challenged thousands of young people from around the world. In addition to XPRIZE and Google, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, Cogmation Robotics, VEX Robotics Inc., Spin-Master Ltd., the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (RECF), GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter Incorporated and Dexter Industries. More information, including the full list of finalists, can be found at

About the Google Lunar XPRIZE
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, visit

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE. For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Eric Desatnik

Via EPR Network
More Education press releases

Author Netanel Semrik re-launched best-selling book “Jonathan in the Kingdom of Mood Balloons” in English, Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew

Does your child has difficulties to manage their emotions?- “Jonathan in the Kingdom of Mood Balloons” has the answer!

Tel Aviv, Israel, October 1, 2015 — /EPR EDUCATION NEWS/ — A new release of the best-selling emotional management book by Netanel Semrik. Find the book on Amazon in English, Arabic, Chinese and Hebrew:

How many times a day are your children emotionally shaken?
How many times have you seen your child throwing a temper tantrum, frustrated, angry, screaming and shouting?

Everything you have tried doing – shouting, caressing, embracing, yelling, punishing – have only served to send them deeper into their emotional turmoil. Have you experienced your children being sad because they had a fight with a friend? They cry, their sadness threatening to engulf them completely and maybe engulf you a little too.

You are probably familiar with the situation in which your little loved ones are in the middle of a jealousy attack; irritating, snatching, pushing one of their siblings who got a gift or attention, exhibiting little to no self-control. Your children’s emotional mood takes over their entire world and it seems as if nothing can stop the emotional storm. Your children’s eruptive behavior is threatening to control you too. You often feel helpless. Now, please close your eyes and imagine your children are able to manage their emotions and thoughts. Imagine them doing it in an easy, simple and intuitive way. Imagine them feeling so comfortable with themselves that they have no problem sharing their feelings with you.

Is it a Dream?
Is it a reality?
Is it possible?


They will be able to do it once you allow them to float off to the dreamy world of Mood Balloons. Mood Balloons? Yes. Mood Balloons. Mood and balloons. This is a Kingdom in which each thought and emotion is connected to the tops of our heads by a string: A Mood Balloon.

Every balloon has a unique color representing our mood at any given moment. The Mood Balloon expresses the mood and the color of the world our children are experiencing. Our emotional management tool is intended for children between the 3 -6 years old, the dream period of early childhood. During this period they will meet the very violent world of stimulation and screens which is all around us. The Mood Balloons allow the children to deal with this harsh world by means of little, charming childhood images. This happens with the help of a simple and friendly tool. The Children color their Mood Balloons with five easy steps, and as we, the parents would say, start managing their moods:

Observation: the children are asked to observe the colorful balloons. Every color symbolizes an emotion they experience and feel. (Pink – love, blue – sadness, orange -joy, and so on)

Point of view: the Mood Balloon’s color can mold the children’s perception of reality, causing them to experience and believe a story that is not a true story as if it was. The Mood Balloon’s color is the color through which the children perceive people and things in the world. Attention: We ask the children to pay attention to every emotional storm they experience, which calms them down before the mood takes over their world and colors their Mood Balloon.

Breathing: the children win the key to the kingdom of their personal emotions by breathing.

Success: children who have chosen the color of their Mood Balloon and stand behind their choice will not be emotionally shaken the next time a storm passes by. All over the world thousands of children reading and listening to this story are carried away by this magical and imaginary tale. It fortifies their ability to believe in themselves as the person in charge of their own moods.

The book invites you, the parents, to give your children tools which will enable them to conduct a different conversation with the world. A conversation existing in an indirect and colorful space, without clouding the delicate “I” which wakes up, develops and lands in this word in the years of early childhood. Apparently, there is another option to the limited conversation: “How was playschool today?” with the constant, vague answer: “Fun”. You can ask the children what Mood Balloon they met today. You wouldn’t believe the wealth of stories and experiences that will burst out of that conversation.

The Mood Balloon reality becomes an accessible, easy and simple emotional base through which the child’s experiences are easily accessed and converted.

Netanel Semrik is the founder of Contento Now, an international publishing house. Which have published more than 250 books of fiction, autobiographies, non-fiction and academic works. Netanel is married and has 3 children. Read more at

Netanel Semrik, , Phone: +972-3-561-6666, For more quality books go to:

Via EPR Network
More Education press releases