Innovative water solutions with Lego!

Two hundred Brownies have come up with sustainable water solutions using Lego, which they showcased at an expo in Dublin City University on 16 June!

The girls spent five weeks working in teams of four researching the issue of water sustainability and exploring innovative ways to conserve water.

Each team designed, built and programmed an autonomous motorised Lego model incorporating a range of sensors and motors. Each team also designed a poster with diagrams of the solution(s) they had come up with, the feasibility of executing the project and details of the programme used.

Their work culminated in the expo – similar to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition – where the girls displayed their projects and were on hand to explain to families, friends and visitors the creative solutions they had come up with.

The project, Irish Girl Guides Innovatively Engaging with STEM (IGGIES), is a partnership with Dublin City University’s Learnit Lego Education and is sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland.

Katie of Whitechurch Brownies said: “We got to work together as a team, to work out the problem and solve it.”

Hannah, also of Whitechurch, said: “I enjoyed doing the posters and explaining our idea and solution.”

Clodagh of Celbridge Brownies said: “We didn’t think Lego, robotics or engineering would be so much fun as boys usually do it, but we loved it!”

Elianna, also of Celbridge, said: “It was so much fun and we learnt loads from doing the IGGIES project. I am now thinking I might change what I want to do when I grow up and am looking at being a technology engineer.”

Rathgar Brownies also enjoyed taking part, saying they loved designing their own Lego project and that they really enjoyed the programming too.

Irish Girl Guides Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon said the organisation was delighted to undertake the project with Brownies from Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow and that they looked forward to rolling out the programme to members in other counties in the coming months.

“To kick off the project, 20 of our volunteer female leaders attended a one day training where they up-skilled and learned the technology themselves so they could impart it to the girls,” she said. “Already we have another 20 Leaders and 200 girls signed up to do a similar project in the autumn.

“Irish Girl Guides believes in challenging stereotypes and we have undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years to encourage our members to pursue STEM subjects in school and to consider pursuing careers in STEM.

“We are also committed to encouraging our girls to dream big and to take action to make a difference in their local communities and in the wider world. The IGGIES project is just one of a number of activities we are using to help our members learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and to explore ways in which they can help make the world a better place.”