Students Recognized for Innovations in Animal Interaction at FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award

Canadian Team Takes Home Top Prize, $20,000 to Help Further Their Innovative Solution for Automated Water Post

MANCHESTER, N.H. – June 21, 2017 – Students’ inspired ideas to improve how humans interact with animals were recognized yesterday at the seventh annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award ceremony, held yesterday at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C. 20 FIRST® LEGO® League teams were honored by Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of FIRST®, for their innovative solutions during the ceremony, which included parents, students, Coaches, patent experts, Sponsors, and animal experts.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people’s participation and interest in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League teams from 27 countries worldwide submitted their solutions for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of expert judges, who then selected a winning team and two runners-up after a series of team meetings and invention examination sessions throughout the two-day event. The winning team received a cash award of $20,000, and both runners-up each received $5,000.

As part of the event, the 20 semi-finalist teams attended empathy mapping and product design workshops led by Global Innovation Award Sponsors Booz Allen Hamilton and NRG Energy, Inc.’s Goal Zero, as well as a workshop at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office led by supervisory patent examiners.GIA winners

WINNER – The H20 Post by The Hydrators of Oakville, Ontario, Canada

The H20 Post (Horses Hydrating Outside) is an automated water post which monitors the amount of water horses drink. The post and trough monitor water consumption by using detectable tags worn on a horse’s halter.

RUNNER-UP – Vfly by Team Gryffindor of Chappaqua, New York, USA  

Bird collisions with person-made structures kill over one billion birds annually. Vfly is a system that plays predator calls to disperse birds as they approach structures. Motion and visual sensors capture images of birds approaching and identify the species, triggering a species-specific predator call.

RUNNER-UPFISH: 3.D. by Team Phoenix of Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

F.I.S.H. 3D: Floating Island Sustainable Habitat, is a modular plant restoration system that harnesses the natural processes found in wetlands to reduce nutrient load and restore lost floating wetlands. Customizable island habitats can be made using the MyLandMaker App.

2016-2017 FIRST LEGO League Challenge

As part of the 2016-2017 ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge, FIRST LEGO League teams (students ages 9-16) in 86 countries were asked to think of people and animals as allies in the quest to make life better for everyone, identify a problem that arises when people and animals interact and design a solution that improves that interaction. More than 255,000 children worldwide explored what’s possible when we work together with our ANIMAL ALLIES.

“Innovation has always been at the core of Booz Allen's spirit, and it is demonstrated in the way our talented people show up and develop new ideas and solutions for our clients,” said Susan Penfield, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton. “We see our passion for solving global problems reflected in the Global Innovation Award semi-finalists. These young people have been empowered by FIRST to change the world, and they’re doing that—today—with their innovative solutions. We’re proud to support FIRST LEGO League and the creative thinking it ignites.”

FIRST LEGO League partners with Award Sponsors to advance the common goal of fostering innovative problem-solvers. Partners in Innovation include Booz Allen Hamilton, LEGO Education, and NRG.

Global Innovation Collaborations include John Deere, Rockwell Collins, and XPRIZE. The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award is presented in cooperation with The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

”We cannot think of a better way to prepare tomorrow’s energy-industry pioneers than supporting STEM education.” said Jennifer Brunelle, Director of positiveNRG, NRG Energy’s corporate philanthropy team. “FIRST’s unique approach to hands-on learning and cooperative competition inspires excitement for problem solving and provides young people with not only valuable technical skills, but life skills that make them better friends and students, preparing them for the future.”

Find more information about FIRST LEGO League and the Global Innovation Award here.