Local Girl Scout FIRST LEGO League Team Going to World Championship

The Atomic Flying Pickles Team includes Summer Bronson, 12, Evelyn Doebling, 11, Haylee Richardson, 11, Catherine Rousculp, 12, and Lauren Stubben, 12, are all sixth graders at Mountain Elementary School. Courtesy photo

FLL News:

Local Girl Scout FIRST LEGO League Team—The Atomic Flying Pickles—from Los Alamos are heading to the FLL World Championship held in Saint Louis, MO April 25-27.

The Atomic Flying Pickles are a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team of Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.

FLL Teams use LEGO Mindstorm kits to design robots that can compete autonomously on a field table with LEGO mission models.

The teams are also judged on “Core Values” and on a presentation of a research project based on a given theme.

This year’s theme is “Senior Solutions,” and the Atomic Flying Pickles devised a way to combat insomnia with an evaporative cooling headband.

Realizing that seniors already deal with complicated drug interactions, the team wanted to find a non-pharmaceutical solution to sleeplessness.

After reading about a cooling cap filled with circulating water that was used in a PIttsburgh School of Medicine sleep study, the girls decided to see if a cheaper, less burdensome version might work.

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 Atomic Flying Pickles Team includes: Summer Bronson (12), Evelyn Doebling (11), Haylee Richardson (11), Catherine Rousculp (12) and Lauren Stubben (12) are all sixth graders at Mountain Elementary School in Los Alamos.

As winners of the NMFLL Tournament, these girls will represent New Mexico in the FIRST World Festival in St. Louis later this month.

Contact information for the Atomic Flying Pickles Team mentor: Susannah Rousculp: rousculp@losalamos-nm.com

About FIRST LEGO League: FIRST LEGO League is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX), which is designed to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable employment and life skills.

FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to 10 children with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome. http://www.firstlegoleague.org/

New Mexico FLL Coordinators: Chris Morgan & Sandy Trissell chair@nmfll.org

The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails have an operational partnership with the New Mexico FIRST LEGO League. Girl Scouts across the country are also working to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs to increase the access girls have to STEM activities and to expose them to STEM career opportunities.

Girl Scouts’ approach to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is unique because:

It’s framed in leadership—specifically, using leadership skills to make the world a better place. Research suggests that girls are more interested in STEM careers when they know how their work can help others. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience intentionally engages girls via three unique processes: girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning. Here’s how these processes are important in providing quality STEM experiences for girls:

  • Girl-led: Even if a girl likes STEM, she might find that boys take the lead in a school environment due to unspoken assumptions about gender roles. Girl Scouts offers a safe, supportive place for girls to seek challenges. This process encourages girls to decide which topics they want to explore and how they want to go about it.
  • Learning by doing: Research shows that, particularly with STEM, girls need to be hands-on, active learners, which this process encourages. In addition, our learning-by-doing process involves a reflection step that asks girls to think about how a given activity worked and what they would do differently in the future—a key skill in scientific testing and conducting experiments.
  • Cooperative learning: In general, girls prefer a collaborative leadership style, rather than the traditional, top-down, “command-and-control” style. This process gives girls the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in the way that makes them most comfortable.

Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails is a nonprofit membership organization in New Mexico, serving more than 6,500 girl and adult members. For more information about Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails—joining, buying cookies, or going to camp—call the main office at 1-505-343-1040 or visit www.NMGirlScouts.org.



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