Though you may not have heard from us in a while, ROBOLUTION has been hard at work and we have lots of exciting news to share.
First off, let’s talk about the FLL Global Innovation Award (“GIA”). With the support of our families, friends and communities, ROBOLUTION landed in the top ten teams with the most on-line votes (9th place). Amazing! Thank you to everyone who lent their time, energy and computer power.
Teams that applied for the GIA were also eligible to win either a mentorship with Edison Nation, or the opportunity to present their “senior solution” at the AARP National Event & Expo: Life@50+, held in Las Vegas May 30 – June 1. Out of 477 worldwide teams, ROBOLUTION received the honor of winning the AARP prize based on the merit of our idea. This opportunity included displaying our proposed solution to preventable dehydration, the HydroBand, at a booth in the exhibit hall (which was attended by nearly 20,000 people over three days). The team was also invited to deliver a 10 minute pitch to venture capitalists, investors and consumers. After six weeks of practice, practice and more practice, ROBOLUTION set out for the convention with three main goals: to raise awareness about the problem of dehydration, to spread the word about STEM and FIRST, and to have fun!
At the event, the team enjoyed speaking to many people who generously shared their personal stories of how dehydration has affected their lives. ROBOLUTION realized that, although we are young, we can help make a difference. All our hard work paid off, and we delivered the pitch exactly as planned. It was very rewarding because not only were we congratulated for being prepared and professional, but people also respected the science behind our idea and we garnered additional credibility as young scientists.
Reaching this point has definitely been a collaborative effort, and ROBOLUTION would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many people involved in our journey. From the AARP coordinators, FIRST representatives and our High Tech High Holy Cows mentors, to the community members who graciously offered their expertise on our field trips, to our families, friends and supporters, we are so grateful for everything. A very special thank you to Ms. Lisa Suennen for her wonderful article that perfectly captures the FLL experience and the excitement of the AARP event (check it out at http://fllinnovation.firstlegoleague.org/semi-finalists). And finally, cheers and high fives to our coach, Mrs. Anna Lozar, whose guidance, dedication and encouragement inspire us to be our very best.