For the first time in many years, a FIRST LEGO League team from the Alamo Area was selected as one of the 20 Semi-Finalists for the Global Innovation Award: meet the Quadships, from San Antonio!
This rookie all-girls team is made up of Amity, Eden, Faith, and Zoe, 4th and 5th graders from a San Antonio based home-school co-op. When tasked with solving a problem that would affect humans on long-duration space travel, they decided to focus on how to provide astronauts with a way to shower in space – a luxury not currently available to them!
The Global Innovation Award is a competition that runs concurrently with the FIRST LEGO League season. It recognizes excellence in the Innovation Project component of the annual challenge. Nominees from around the world are selected at their local Championship events, and submit more information via an online application. An independent panel of judges reviews the initial 100+ applications, and then selects 20 Semi-Finalist teams to invite to the annual Global Innovation Award event.
I had the privilege of attending the Global Innovation event in San Jose, California, on July 2nd, and watched as the Quadships delivered a flawless presentation to an audience of well over 200 people. These smart ladies put on their “thinking caps” and wowed the crowd with their thorough knowledge, extensive research, and powerful visual aids. Astronaut Dan Burbank, one of the award panelists, lauded their solution for its feasibility and usefulness on board the space station!
The Quadships faced stiff competition at the event, up against many great ideas ranging from solutions to food, exercise, health, and social problems that humans might face in long-duration space travel. Although the grand prize went to a team from Brazil, the Quadships were inducted into the Innovation Ambassadors, and had a lot of fun meeting the other teams from all over the world. They hope to return as a team for the 2019-2020 CITY SHAPER season, and don’t be surprised if you see them leading training programs in the future, or inventing more innovative solutions!
Congratulations to the Quadships from all of us here at FIRST in Texas!