On November 19, 2017, NYSCI hosted the first of four clinics where staff from the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and supporting coaches/parents from specific troops, worked with a cohort of young Girl Scouts to further their preparation to address the challenges set forth by the FIRST LEGO League.

FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, and energy, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.

Each challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least two adult coaches, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. Teams may then attend an official tournament, hosted by FIRST LEGO League Partners.

For the opening session at NYSCI, the challenge was themed HYDRO DYNAMICS. The Girl Scout team had to learn all about water—how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. As part of The Robot Game, Girl Scouts reviewed the interface of the EV3 (Lego Mindstorm’s programming brick) online software, programmed their EV3 to accomplish a series of these challenges involving water, and explored different types of sensors.