After three years of improving their engineering skills and applying their learned knowledge to solving real-world science and technology challenges, Troop 3325 earned a spot at the Eastern Washington First Lego League (FFL) State Championship. During their “difficult but really fun” experience, Jerzy, Miah, Maddy, Jayda, and Allison not only thoughtfully and systematically built a robot and guided it through task-oriented obstacles, they also worked together as a team to pursue a research project based on a worthy cause. Their project focused on “K-9’s in Action,” which allowed them to channel their whit and drive towards helping working dogs remain safe and successful during their courageous days on the job.
Though it is important for law enforcement and military K-9 units to be protected from the base of their neck to their waste, similar to humans in the same line of work, many departments don’t have the means to obtain life-saving protective equipment. This unfortunate circumstance has led to thousands of K-9’s nationwide who are in need ballistic vests. Leave it to a Girl Scout troop to step in and find a solution.
Members of Troop 3325 set their minds on finding a way to provide protective vests for their local police department. They even have future plans to partner with a non-profit agency in Spokane, WA that strategizes with different organizations and individuals to raise funds for these necessary vests. Troop 3325 has hopes of working with the company to create a sustainable plan to continue their efforts long-term. Inspiration for their project spurred from the girl’s interest in canine safety and protection, along with their newfound knowledge of the shortage of this necessary equipment.
Through concentration on helping their local community and improving the career path of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for girls, Troop 3325 realized a handful of surprising effects FLL has had on them as individuals. “I learned a lot about core values,” said Maddy “which will continue to help me to determine right from wrong.” Allison added, “this experience taught us important things for our future, such as how to work with personalities different than our own, professionalism, outside the box thinking, and time management skills.”
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