Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), powered by Motorola Solutions Foundation, have sponsored LEGO Robotics teams to compete in competitions since 2008!
One of those teams, the Gnarly Llamas of Wonder (G.L.O.W.), decided to take their robotics knowledge and turn it into an application with a real purpose: providing fitness opportunities and long-term lifestyle benefits for teens (or incarcerated youth) in juvenile detention centers.
GCNWI Girl Scouts Sonora, June, Emie, Kate, and Luci, are one of three FIRST Lego League teams in Illinois to win the Global Innovation Award!
Hear from the girls in their own words on how their project is helping to change the game and power the future.
Written by Girl Scouts Sonora, June, Emie, Kate and Luci
We became a Girl Scouts sponsored rookie team in 2019, and we are now an enthusiastic robot-loving herd! G.L.O.W. is a Girl Scout sponsored team in the FIRST Lego League (FLL). This year’s FLL theme is Game Changer. Since we were from multiple schools, we decided to strengthen our bonds by doing team-building activities and creating our mission modules together.
As the season progressed, we interviewed experts to help solve the problem we identified: youth in juvenile detention facilities are not getting their daily 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as recommended by the CDC. Our solution is a portable pod that projects beams of light to create a fun and engaging workout for the juvenile detainees while collecting data via a wearable device.
While working on this project, something that motivated us was thinking of the actual kids in these facilities that we would impact. Hearing about the lifestyle of kids in juvenile detention facilities and learning about the negative impacts of being inactive definitely drives us to make a difference. Knowing that our idea could really improve the lives of incarcerated kids motivates us to keep going, and it’s really fun to work as a team and create something beneficial and impactful to others! We really want to change the lives of these youth and help them.
Having our solution be part of a competition also provided motivation to continue working on this project because we had a rubric to work off of and judges to give us feedback. We also tested and researched to improve our robot design, attachments, and programming.
At the Qualifiers, we won the Rising Star Award and moved on to States, and now, we are one of the three FIRST Lego League teams in Illinois to win the Global Innovation Project! We are the Gnarly Llamas of Wonder and are proud of all the growing we have done.
Girl Scouting has many important values. It teaches us how to work with other girls our age, and to build a respectful community. It also teaches us how to do many different things, and exposes us to different cultures. And finally, it emphasizes giving back and making an impact all while having FUN.
We wish people knew that being a Girl Scout is more than just selling cookies and singing songs. We learn life skills all in a supportive and encouraging environment. Girl Scouts are capable and awesome.
Thank you so much to these awesome Girl Scouts for sharing their story with us!
Learn More about Robotics!
Girl Scouts offers programs and badges designed to learn more about robotics! Plus, our unique programming in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) helps girls turn their big ideas into real action and make an impact on their community.
You can attend a Design Your Own Robot Badge workshop to learn about what robots do and how they help people, then design your own!
Get involved in LEGO Robotics
As a part of a FIRST LEGO Robotics team within Girl Scouts GCNWI, teams will:
- Design, build, test, and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS ® technology;
- Apply real-world math and science concepts;
- Research challenges facing today’s scientists;
- Learn critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills;
- Participate in team meetings, tournaments, and celebrations.
If you are interested in participating and joining a formed team, please contact Corinna Christman.