Today’s post was written by Neha, a FIRST® LEGO® League team member who attended last year’s FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award Ceremony in Washington, DC for their PLASTIC ZERO invention, a packaging made from shape memory polymers.


Last year, Team Gryffindor 20428 was selected to be one of the 20 semi-finalists for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award. As a rookie team, we were all very excited and honored to participate in the Global Innovation Award Ceremony, as an opportunity to share our Project to the Judges. This event gave us a real eye-opening experience into the world of technology and innovation.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

  • On the field trip to the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center and through the various workshops offered, we got to see all the new cutting-edge technology, such as virtual reality, sports predictions/analysis machines, and fingerprint detecting at crime scenes.


  • During the event, we interacted with many other great teams, such as the Incredibots, Team Storm, and the Cyber Tigers, who were all trying to solve the overwhelming trash problem (last year’s Challenge was TRASH TREKSM).  We talked to the Coaches of other teams, and important FIRST® members, such as Don Bossi (the president of FIRST!).
  • As a team, we were able to get valuable tips on how to market and further enhance our Project by talking to many accomplished Judges and professionals.

Overall, the Global Innovation Award event was fun, exciting, and taught us about the real world/market of technology and innovation. However, my whole FIRST LEGO League experience was equally rewarding. Through FIRST LEGO League, our whole team has learned vital life skills, such as presenting (articulation of our idea), teamwork, robotics knowledge, and creativity. As a young child, I was always fascinated with science and technology. The scientific, real-life application of this FIRST program is what drew me in. The friendly, cheerful, and supporting environment of FIRST also appealed to me. Programs like FIRST LEGO League and the Global Innovation Award inspire me to pursue a career in STEM.

Finally, I just wanted to end by saying thanks to all the FIRST LEGO League Volunteers, Judges, Coaches, and organizers for making my four years in the program as educational and fun as they possibly could be! Go inventors!