Girls of Steel LEGO Teams Win Big

Four teams fielded by Girls of Steel Robotics in the FIRST LEGO League brought home several major honors from the Southwestern Pennsylvania FLL Championship.

Four teams fielded by Girls of Steel Robotics in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) — a competition for elementary and middle school students — brought home several major honors from the Southwestern Pennsylvania FLL Championship Dec. 14 at Sewickley Academy.

The teams, including 27 boys and girls in grades 4-8 from 18 local elementary or middle schools, competed in the championship's Scholastic Division. They were coached by Terry Richards, outreach program manager in the Robotics Institute (RI), and Bridget Soderna, a master's student in mechanical engineering, with assistance from Girls of Steel members in grades 8-12.

The CM Blues team won the First Place Project Presentation Award, team Dot Dot Dot received the First Place Gracious Professionalism Award, the Green Gears team was awarded the First Place Champions Award and the Pittsburgh Purploids received the Second Place Project Research Award.

This year's challenge required the teams to identify problems with buildings or public spaces in their communities, do research to find a solution, and then share that solution and refine it. The teams consulted with CMU faculty and staff and with staff at Kennywood, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Wilkins School Community Center. Their projects tackled such problems as "bunching" of buses on various routes, enhancing building accessibility, reducing flooding in the "bathtub" section of I-376 Downtown and reducing heat-related health emergencies at Kennywood.

The Girls of Steel, now in its 10th season of competition in the FIRST Robotics Competition, is sponsored by CMU's Field Robotics Center.

For More Information
Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice@cs.cmu.edu
Virginia Alvino Young | 412-268-8356 | vay@cmu.edu