The Atomic Flying Pickles of Los Alamos were selected to attend the third annual White House Science Fair Monday, April 22.
President Obama hosted the event and celebrated the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country.
The Atomic Flying Pickles are a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team includes Catherine, 12, Summer, 12, Evelyn, 11, Haylee, 11, and Lauren, 12, all sixth graders at Mountain Elementary School and Girl Scout Cadettes of Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.
Rousculp and Bronson represented their team along with troop leader Susannah Rousculp.
The team was invited to attend the White House Science Fair after sharing their invention of an evaporative cooling headband for seniors with the White House Office on Science and Technology as an example of STEM work with an innovative technology.
The local team developed the evaporative cooling headband, as part of their “Senior Solutions” project, to provide seniors with a non-pharmaceutical solution to insomnia, realizing that many seniors already deal with complicated drug interactions.
The cooling headband they tested is filled with gel that soaks up water and stays hydrated for hours. Worn at night, the headband offers evaporative cooling action, which may bring down the temperature of the over-active frontal cortex to reduce racing thoughts that can keep seniors awake at night.
The girls shared a presentation of their project along with one of their robots at the fair.
This year’s Science Fair showcased projects such as economically-viable algae biofuel, a robot that paints with watercolor, a computer program that improves cancer detection and many more.
“We’d like to thank the White House for the opportunity to be part of this important science fair,” said Peggy Sanchez Mills, CEO of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails. “To expose girls to STEM activities and careers, our Council partnered with the New Mexico First Lego League. We’re delighted that the girls’ exploration into STEM has brought them all the way to White House Science Fair. We believe each of the young ladies is a wonderful example of future leaders who have the potential to change the world for the better. This is what happens when a community invests in a girl; when we invest in a girl we invest in our future.
FLL Teams use LEGO Mindstorm kits to design robots that can compete autonomously on a field table with LEGO mission models. The team, a winner of the NMFLL Tournament, will represent New Mexico in the FIRST World Festival in St. Louis April 25-27.
For more information and videos of the White House Science Fair, click HERE.