Monday, January 30, 2017

GSSI Teams Excel at FIRST LEGO League State Tournament

Three Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois robotics teams excelled while competing among 64 teams participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Central Illinois State Tournament at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana on Saturday, January 28. 

FLL is a robotics program for 9 to 14 year olds which is designed to get children excited about science and technology, as well as teach them valuable life skills. Along with programming robots, teams are also evaluated on an elaborate research project, as well as how well they demonstrate FLL Core Values, which include teamwork, collective learning, active participation and gracious professionalism. After practicing and preparing for months, teams meet at regional qualifying tournaments to be graded on the three elements, with top teams advancing to state competition.

How GSSI teams excelled at the FLL Central Illinois State Tournament: 

GIR! with the Research Award trophy

GIR! from Staunton won the Research Award, which FLL states “recognizes a team that utilizes diverse resources to formulate an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the problem they have identified. 

SWAT next to their presentation board detailing their project. 

SWAT from Troy was a finalist for the Project Award, for their excellent research project. 

Purple Robot Penguins getting ready for the robot game. 

Purple Robot Penguins was a finalist for the Core Values Award, which recognizes teams that exemplify “the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League” and include teamwork, active participation, friendly competition and gracious professionalism.

2016-17 FLL Season in Review

This year, 12 GSSI teams from Albers, Alton, Anna, Belleville, Chester, Mt. Olive, O’Fallon (4), Staunton and Troy participated in FLL robotics. GSSI’s metro-east robotics teams are sponsored by The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, which awarded GSSI a $25,000 grant to support GSSI’s STEM initiatives in Jersey, Macoupin, Madison and St. Clair Counties. This grant is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund focused on strengthening the Greater St. Louis community, where Monsanto Fund and Monsanto Company are headquartered.

Robotics teams are a vital part of GSSI's commitment to providing engaging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to girls in southern Illinois.  Other activities girls can explore includes wiring circuits, exploring forensics, conducting chemistry projects and more.  To ensure that even more girls have the chance to take advantage of these future-building opportunities, GSSI has integrated STEM activities into its outreach programs – which bring Girl Scouting to girls in underserved populations, such as low income neighborhoods, housing projects, rural communities and even detention centers.

About Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at