January 8, 2018 – Congratulations Team Brave Waves! This group of seven female elementary and middle school students recently competed in – and won! – the FIRST LEGO League regional competition in Chicago. The Brave Waves visited Sargent & Lundy’s Chicago headquarters ahead of the competition in search of critical support and feedback from our practicing engineers, who were more than happy to lend a hand.
Teams participating in this STEM competition research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They must also design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®. They then compete in regional tournaments across the world to share their knowledge, compare ideas, and display their robots. The focus of this year’s competition was hydrodynamics. Teams were challenged to identify a problem and solution for how people use, dispose of, or transport water.
The Brave Waves, ranging between the ages of 9 – 14, chose to research an innovative solution for conserving water that is wasted during the time needed for a typical shower to heat up. Their solution involved using an inductive heating unit powered by batteries that could be made and sold as a commercial product to be installed by a typical homeowner.
The team of determined young ladies presented their research project to a group of our engineers, who worked with the Brave Waves to help them find the needed heat output of the induction heater as well as the power requirements for the batteries. The meeting was a great example to the young robotics team of how a real world multi-disciplined engineering design team works collaboratively to find a solution to problem.
We’re proud to share that the Brave Waves won the regional competition and are advancing to the state competition in January. Good luck, Brave Waves!
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills.