A Forest Guard team member tells me what he really thinks about the project.
Alejandro Vega was one of 6 team members that made up the FLL Lego Guards-Climate Connection team. The team not only won the first place Nor Cal State Championship Presentation Award, but was one of six teams chosen (worldwide) to present their project in Copenhagen at the Children’s Climate Action Summit. That project (Forest Guard) won 1st place there and is currently being implemented by SONY-Europe and the University of Nevada – Reno. Alejandro and 2 team members returned to Copenhagen during COP15 – to present Forest Guard to the world at SONY’s Bright Green booth.
SONY created a documentary about the team, their idea, and their journey (The Forest Guards) which will be released globally next year.
I recently asked Al a few questions about his experience.
HB – You once said that the project was your favorite part of the FLL season experience. Why?
AV – I like the project because it is something you and your team can create, and it has the possibility of becoming something in reality. I also like it because it requires many different kinds of work and knowledge to make it all come together, if you want a good presentation. It is really fun for me to see it from the very beginning, when it is just an idea, to the end, wherever it might be, much further down the road.
HB – Your Lego Guard-Climate Connection team took their project (Forest Guard) all the way to the world stage. What are some of your favorite moments throughout that journey?
AV – The Forest Guard Project was an amazing experience for me. It was so awesome to see it go from just a thought, then to see it go through so many changes, until we found something we all liked, then to start researching everything, and putting a presentation board and research binders together. When we won 1st place for our presentation at Nor Cal State, it was such a wonderful feeling. We progressed through the spring, making even more slight changes, and doing a lot of fund raising to get our team to Denmark in May. When we won 1st place at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Children’s Climate Call, that was beyond amazing!
HB- You also got to meet some famous people along the way, right?
AV – Yes, I’ve met Dean Kamen , Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the Crown Princes of both Denmark and Norway and the Crown Princess of Sweden. I also got to meet and talk with Dr. John Holdren – the Science Advisor for President Obama, which was exciting.
HB – Very cool! So, any advice you want to give other FLL team members about working on the project?
AV – While doing research for your project, you learn so much about those fields your presentation covers, that you can actually carry on a basic conversation about something! Also, the project ideas really have the potential of making a difference. Now, with our Forest Guard system actually being installed up at Lake Tahoe, when I look back to the very first day and see how far it has come, I have such a great sense of accomplishment. I feel that I helped with something that might actually change something for the better.
HB – That IS “beyond amazing”