Local Girl Scouts gain national attention for creating working prosthesis

The Flying Monkeys, a team of Cadette Girl Scouts from Ames and Gilbert, won first place in the “Innovative Solution,” category at Iowa’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Championship, and their impressive work has gotten them national recognition.

The team’s working prosthetic hand, named the BOB-1, that was created for a 3-year-old who does not have fingers on her right hand is in the running to receive the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award. The award would give the Flying Monkeys up to $20,000 to file a U.S. patent and create a prototype of the BOB-1. To read more about the BOB-1 prosthetic hand or to vote for the team, visit the Global Innovation Award website. Visitors are allowed to vote for the team once per day until March 4, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

The theme for this year’s FLL Championship, “Body Forward,” featured simulations based on biomedical engineering challenges. The Iowa championship was held January 15, 2011, and included 72 teams comprised of boys and girls aged 9 to fourteen who programmed and built Lego Mindstorms, a type of miniature robot, for their projects.

The students’ robots were part of presentations they researched and presented pertaining to a current biomedical engineering problem. The projects featured ways to make human lives happier and healthier through a biomedical engineering lens.

The teams received numerous awards in various categories including programming, innovation and strategy, robot performance, presentation, and research. Teams also won awards based on their teamwork, inspiration, and professionalism.

Other awards presented at the FLL event included the overall Champion’s Award that went to team Brick Burners from Marshalltown. This award is the highest honor a team can win and is presented to the team that “most passionately inspires and motivates others about the excitement of science and technology, solving problems, working as a team, and demonstrating respect and gracious professionalism.”

South Dakota recently held their state FLL Championship in Sioux Falls. A rookie team from Sioux Center, Iowa, named “electro-virus” won the competition’s Champion’s Award. The Iowa team qualified to participate in the FLL World Festival April 27-30 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Click PLAY below to listen to Iowa Public Radio‘s Sarah McCammon interview team members: [audio:http://wordpress.engineering.iastate.edu/news/files/2011/02/IPR_020811_FlyingMonkeys.mp3]

To vote for the team, visit the Global Innovation Award website.

More news coverage of the Flying Monkeys