Thursday, May 17, 2018

Girl Scouts Crush It at the FIRST Robotics Competition

Girl Scouts across the country are using science and technology to make the world a better place. When they’re not developing soil moisture sensors for farmers or designing fashion accessories that light up in response to increases in heart rate, they’re coding apps and building robots to solve real-world problems, like water waste. Just look to these FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Girl Scout robotics teams to see the impact in action!

Last month, several FIRST Girl Scout teams convened at regional tournaments for the FIRST Championship, a global robotics competition. The theme of hydrodynamics focuses on ways to improve our use of water.

Check out how these innovators are stepping up to make the world a better place.

Brainiac Maniacs help solve lawn overwatering

The Brainiac Maniacs team from Girl Scouts of San Jacinto won first place at the FIRST LEGO League South Regional Championship in Katy, Texas. For their winning project, the girls took action on a real-world challenge—water conservation. Did you know most people overwater their lawn by 30 to 300 percent? That’s why this girl-led team created Water Wizard, an app that combines automatic and manual lawn-watering solutions to reduce overwatering and water waste. Their app has the potential to save more than 300,000 gallons of water a week per home. That’s enough to provide water to 140 homes!

Now the Brainiac Maniacs join 108 other winning teams (out of an initial 33,000 globally) that have moved on to compete in the FIRST Championship in Houston!

Team 6544 Green Machine takes action on the Flint water crisis

Team 6544 Green Machine from Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey took the lead on the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, with an idea that has earned them a place to compete in the FIRST Championship in Detroit. After researching ways to positively impact this public health issue, the girls created MUSA bag, a tea bag filled with dried banana peel chunks that can remove more than 90 percent of lead in water. Their low-cost solution has the potential to help Michigan’s state of emergency, making Flint a healthier place.

The Shark Divas invent ways to clean and conserve water

From left to right: Girl Scouts Ayjah, LaDreme, and Jade
The Shark Divas from Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan were inspired by a shared passion—swimming. For their project, they researched ways to filter rainwater that falls in pools and engineered a system to clean and conserve it. As Shark Diva LaDreme explains, “I worked with my team to create a tower and a few pipes as part of the filter to clean the water before it goes into the pool.” The girls’ invention earned them a spot to compete at the FIRST Championship in Detroit!

Girls from Kell Robotics share their expertise

Girl Scout Danielle

Girl Scout Mackenzie
Silver Award Girl Scouts Danielle and Mackenzie from the Kell Robotics team out of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta also met with smashing success at the FIRST Championship. The girls were commended for their outstanding work championing a new 21st century science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education model. The standout leaders were tapped to speak out about the importance of developing human capital for STEM teaching in the 21st century and how programming like Girl Scouts’ and FIRST’s play a crucial role in this future.

Alongside other team members, these go-getters developed the Strategic Teacher Initiative (STI), a proposal designed to train and place a technology, engineering, and computer science teacher in every K–12 school in the United States. The STI would also allow teachers to support the fourth industrial revolution and prepare students to become the technology and business leaders of tomorrow. The girls’ visionary project has earned them the Chairman’s Award (the highest honor in the FIRST Robotics Competition), recognizing the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate. 

Girl Scouts are the engineers, scientists, and technology tinkerers of tomorrow, and programs like Girl Scouts and FIRST prepare them to pursue careers in STEM and provide the tools they need to make the world a better place. Learn more about our STEM program.