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Local Youth Recognized for Innovation as FIRST (R) LEGO(R) League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE(R) Semi-Finalist

Last Updated on May 16, 2017 at 9:55am | Public Information Office

FIRST® LEGO® League recently announced 20 semi-finalist teams would advance to the Seventh Annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award. NeXT GEN FLL Team 3659, from Garrett County, was selected from entries from 30 countries for its outstanding project innovative solution, the BeeHaven, which demonstrated originality while having the potential to add significant value in the world. The team will travel to Washington, D.C. from June 18-20 to present its innovation to expert judges.

All semi-finalists will participate in a two-day, hands-on innovation event at the Kellogg Conference Center, which culminates in the awarding of the top prize of $20,000 to continue work on the invention. Two runners-up will take home $5,000 each.

The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award (GIA) demonstrates that FIRST LEGO League teams emerge from the program as better visionaries, divergent thinkers, and actual inventors. Past winning teams have focused on helping people and changing lives—from a device that allowed a toddler with a hand difference to learn to write, to a chemical process to change Styrofoam to activated carbon for filtration, to a touch-based App allowing blind children to learn Braille unassisted. The 2012 NeXT GEN team was the GIA winner with its innovative Gramma-Jamma. It was an innovative grabber to provide renewed independence to seniors with limited mobility. NeXT GEN’s BeeHaven is an enclosure for a beehive to help the hive survive cold climate winters, like the ones in Garrett County. The team has built and collected temperature data to continue to improve its design.

FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9 to 16 year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills. Children work alongside adult Mentors to design, build, and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project.

Innovators and inventors play a critical role in growing our economy and improving our quality of life. The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented is designed to encourage and assist teams with the further development of their original and important ideas for solving global issues. Inventions under consideration in the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Semi-Finals epitomize innovative thinking and the FIRST mantra More than RobotsSM.

The Global Innovation Award is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, John Deere, LEGO Education, NRG, Rockwell Collins, and XPRIZE and in collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

NeXT GEN FLL Team is 1 of the 20 semi-finalists for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award.  Garrett County’s NeXT GEN FLL Team is one of the 20 semi-finalists for the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Global Innovation Award. Team members pose with their innovative invention, the BeeHaven. Team members from left to right: Jett Miller, Savannah Jenkins, Emilia Germain, Jarrett Miller, Sara Huelskamp, Connor Madigan, Keaton Beachy, Serena Lewis, and Noah Beakes. These students are from Northern, Southern, and Swan Meadow Middle Schools in Garrett County.

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