ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) —Your childhood toys are now doing something much greater than just building memories. Teens and tweens from Orchard Park are using Legos to build character. An idea from one parent sparked this STEM initiative.8 girls, ages 8-14, make up the first all-girls Lego team in Western New York. They’re name? The Quaker Up! Team.
Keely Thorpe, a member of the team told News 4,”We are a neighborhood team, we are a group of friends and we just kind of all brought ourselves together.”
They meet up once a week for two hours at a time to practice in their coach’s basement. They practice science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help them prepare them for the world competition coming in April.
Ella Nenoff, another member of the Lego team said, “Most of the time some people come down here and work on the board, programming the runs, and some people go upstairs and work on the project.”
Another member of the team, Katie Bogart, said, “For the robot part, it’s a computer program, but we have to build all of our attachments to figure out how to make the program successful.”
Now their skills could make change. The girls have a plan that could help the blind, and it starts with service dogs.Elizabeth Faust explained their idea. “Sometimes dogs aren’t able to adjust to new routes.”
So the girls created a harness that can give the dog signals by using an app and Bluetooth capability.
Faust said, “If it’s a left turn, the buzzer on the left that will give a little signal to the dog on the left.”
The team has already made huge strides in Western New York. Their Lego skills placed them on the winner’s podium at the regional competition. Now they’ll head to the first ever Lego league world festival in St. Louis.Catherine Lesh, the hugger of the team told News 4,”We’re in the finals and there are supposed to be over 100 teams there!”
Maddie Bogart told News 4,”We have a couple of months to prepare though so we get a little more time to prepare and get more points.”
If you would like to help the girls on their mission, click here.