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Betsy Denson
or 1-800-392-4340, ext. 1236

Lady Oliver
or 1-800-392-4340, ext. 1361

Girl Scouts Compete in Robotics Competition
One of Three Girl Scout Teams Honored as Finalists

In the fall of 2007, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) implemented a robotics program for girls age 9-14, chaired by Girl Scout volunteer Jo Blackburn and funded by The Motorola Foundation. In December, these Girl Scouts competed in the Lone Star FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tournament, the largest FLL competition in the country with more than 100 teams competing.

Not only did the Girl Scout teams and their volunteers have a great time, but one team – the LEGO Lions – received a trophy as one of the top four finalists in the Research Project category.

To prepare for the tournament, the girls learned how to design, build and program LEGO MINDSTORM robots and had 10-12 weeks to prepare for the FLL tournament. This year's FLL theme was the Power Puzzle, which involved running specific missions with the robots on a playing field as well as completing and presenting a team research project. For the project, the girls selected a building in their community and evaluated its energy use. Then they talked to experts and proposed solutions to reduce consumption or to move toward alternative energy use.

The winning LEGO Lions team chose to perform an audit of each team member's home. The results were then averaged to arrive at a “typical” home for the Houston area. Based on this typical home the girls were able to determine how much energy might be saved by replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lamps. They also looked at alternative energy production sources, such as wind, solar, and methane. The team also analyzed air conditioner, water heater, and window efficiency.

"I think the girls learned a lot about their own talents and about teamwork," says Girl Scout volunteer Jo Blackburn. "Most of the girls did not know each other before the teams were formed. The coaches did a fabulous job as well!"

LEGO Lions team member Krystina W. is glad she decided to participate. “I liked solving the problems when the robots didn't go where they were supposed to go," she says. “I can’t wait to work with them again next year. I’m proud my team won a trophy.”

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with more than 3.8 million girls and adult members. Today, as when founded in 1912, GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as adults. Girl Scouting—builds girls of courage confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is a United Way affiliated agency serving more than 64,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 25 southeast Texas counties. For more information about membership or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, call 713-292-0300 or visit

GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.

GSSJC | Communications Department
3110 Southwest Freeway  Houston, TX 77098