Green Machine: All Girls FIRST LEGO League Robotics Team

DiyaContributed by Diya (age 13)

Hi! I am Diya and I am a member of Green Machine, an all girls FLL robotics team. We are from West Windsor, NJ and our mission is to promote STEM in young girls. We were started by Girl Scouts to support girls interested in STEM. FLL stands for First Lego League and it’s an amazing program for kids to get into because it shows girls that even though they are young they can still apply things that real world scientists do.

FLL is made up of 3 parts, Robot, Project, and Core Values.

  1. Robot is where we get to build a robot out of Legos and then program it to do the tasks. We all enjoy programming and most of us want to pursue it as a career.
  2. Core Values is how well you work together as a team, how you use gracious professionalism, and how you integrate the things you have learned in FLL in your everyday lives.
  3. Project is when you create an innovative solution to a topic given by FLL every FLL season.

This year the topic was Hydrodynamics and we had to find a way to improve the interaction between humans and water. We thought lead was a growing issue after we had heard about the devastating lead contamination in the waters of Flint, Michigan. We wanted to find a cheap and simple way to reduce the lead in water to safe drinking levels. We researched for a long time and saw that banana peels could purify lead. We were so happy once we had found this because banana peels are already a waste product and our solution could be very cheap. Then we invented MUSA bag, a tea bag that contains dried banana peel chunks. We tested it by immersing the teabag in lead contaminated water. We got back our lab reports and to our surprise our teabag took out over 90% of the lead in the water. We were ecstatic!

Green Machine FLL TeamFLL holds competitions around the world to see who has the best Project, Robot, and Core Values. We attended their qualifiers in Ewing, NJ and won 1st place there and went on to compete at States in Mount Laurel  where we also won first place and received a ticket to the World Festival all the way in Detroit, MI. We were so excited that we got to go to the World Festival, it was our dream ever since we started FLL back in fourth grade. We are all best friends and love to hang out with each other. The journey with FLL has been a great experience for Green Machine. We got several opportunities to communicate with experts in various fields, help our community, and encourage girls to pursue STEM by going to different meetings with Girl Scouts and talking to them about our journey. In the process, we got to learn a lot about robot design, programming and strategies. We truly love FLL, and there has never been a day that we didn’t learn something new. FIRST has been such a positive influence on our lives and we want to continue to inspire other girls.