Girl Scouts hosts First Lego League Qualifier Challenge

On January 31, 2016, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM), hosted a First Lego League Qualifier Competition, Trash Trek, at its Seton Urban Program & STEM Center. In addition to the 3 Girl Scouts of Central Maryland teams, Folly Quarter Middle (2 teams), Family Friends (2 teams), Ebb Valley Elementary, Clarksville Middle Neighborhood Group, St. Anne’s Day School of Annapolis, New Hope Academy and Al-Huda School also had teams competing for titles and trophies.

FIRST LEGO League teams research and solve real-world problems just like scientists and engineers. During this competition, teams investigated the hidden (or not so hidden) world of trash.

Teams built and programmed an autonomous robot using a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® kit to solve a set of missions on a playing field. Each mission represents a different concept in trash removal, sorting, processing, recycling, or reduction.

Each team:

  • Identified a problem with the way we make or handle trash.
  • Created an innovative solution that addresses their real-world “trash” problem.
  • Shared their solution with relevant and/or meaningful audiences.

Girl Scouts’ team Travengers took home the trophy for project design. Their solution to the trash problem was to add high walls to the current trash bins being used. This would prevent trash from falling out of the bin. They also decided that wind could be a problem too, since it can carry light objects away. So, to address that issue, they decided the bin would need to have netting on top. Lastly, they added tiny holes in the bottom of the bin, to allow rainwater to drizzle out, but still prevent trash from falling out of the bin. Congratulations to the Travengers and to all who participated in this fun STEM activity. Each team brought their scientific knowledge and spirit of camaraderie to the competition.

Funding from Motorola enabled GSCM to purchase new robots and defray costs associated with the tournament and registration fees. For more information about GSCM’s robotics program contact Stephanie Alphee, STEM Program Specialist, at salphee@gscm.org.

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