Over the span of two weeks, six teams from Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho participated in various First Lego League (FLL) tournaments across our region. Each team performed exceptionally well and made our Girl Scout community proud! Among the many successes, Tri-Cities team MAJeSTy received a Judges Award and team Medical Lake received a Project Presentation Award.
RoboGirls from Troops 4317 and 4303 are being recognized for their qualification of advancement to the State Championship tournament. JoeAnna, Liliana, Anna, Jaylie, Betty and Maggie make up one of 30 teams who will be competing at the Eastern Washington FLL Championship tournament on January 16, which will take place at Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney.
This victory has been no simple challenge; it is one due to the dedication, diligence and a lot of hard work. RoboGirls put in countless hours preparing for their qualifying tournament. Since September of 2015, they have been meeting at least twice a week to design 'RIA,' their lego robot. In addition to designing and programming, the team has also prepared an extensive research project that identified an issue as it related to this year's theme - trash. The girls were required to establish a solution to that particular problem and present it to an audience who could benefit it. RoboGirls focused on the negative impact that plastic trash bags have on the environment, identified a more eco-friendly solution and revealed their findings to our staff at the Girl Scout Store! At the recent regional tournament, a combination of high scores on the robot course and high marks in the judging panels equated to their advancement to state finals.
When observing the teams in action, judges pay close attention to how the participants communicate and work with each other. The girls attribute many of the qualities they've learned in Girl Scouts to their ability to work together to reach a common goal. When Maggie was asked of a quality she learned in Girl Scouts that has been exceptionally beneficial to her team's success, she quickly replied, "Teamwork!" All six girls agree that lego robotics helps them develop core values and team building skills. Betty mentioned that one of the highlights of her learning experiences has been to communicate more efficiently with her teammates and try to find solutions to problems rather than saying "no" to a challenge.
A special shout-out of appreciation goes to our Girl Scout FLL coaches: Kyle Smock, Joshua Munderloh, Pat Lee, Bryan Dunlap, Marilyn Franklin, Tabitha Snyder, Chad Powers, Margo Buckles, Jacob Armstrong and April Duncan.