The 10th annual Global Innovation Award presented by Disney is only a few days away (join us for the LIVE award show on June 27 at 11 AM ET on FIRSTtv), where FIRST®  LEGO® League teams are recognized for their inventions and leading and inspiring the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, problem-solvers and changemakers!

As we learn about this year’s outstanding semi-finalists and celebrate a decade of the #GlobalInnovationAward, we also pause to reflect on the many amazing inventions and stories we’ve seen unfold over the years. Today, we’re looking back at some of our innovation ambassadors, their inspiring stories, and inventions.

The Flying Monkeys


The Flying Monkeys from Ames, IA, USA were our inaugural Global Innovation Award winners from the 2010/2011 BODY FORWARDSM season. They invented the BOB-1 Hand Device, a low-cost, easy to put on and off prosthetic device that enables the user to hold, grip, stabilize, or secure any item they otherwise may not have been able to manipulate. The invention was originally created for Danielle, a 3-year-old girl, to help her draw and color.

The Incredibots


The Incredibots from Gahanna, OH, USA created the Styro-Filter during the 2015/2016 TRASH TREKSM season, which converts Styrofoam waste into activated carbon that can be used to purify water. Shortly after winning the Global Innovation Award in 2016, they participated in several other contests (including the Google Science Fair) and team spokesperson Ashton Cofer gave a TED talk about the team’s experience building the Styro-Filter that has over 1 million views!

The Thunderbots


The Thunderbots from Sacramento, CA, USA are Innovation Ambassadors from the 2017/2018 HYDRO DYNAMICSSM season. They invented the UltraOrganix Filter, which removes bacteria and metal from water using solar water disinfection. The team is very active in their community and has helped over 30 rookie teams get their start in FIRST LEGO League in their region. Their proudest accomplishment so far? Creating a robotics education class called STEM Lab: LEGO® Robotics that they implemented in their local library.

From improvements to the water cycle and making space duration more accessible to innovative solutions in waste management and animal health, past Global Innovation Award finalists have brought their inventions to market, received patents, and incorporated as businesses.

Feeling inspired?

This year’s semi-finalists created solutions to make their communities safer and more accessible during the CITY SHAPERSM season. Join us as we share their stories live during the 10th annual Global Innovation Award presented by Disney on Saturday, June 27 at 11 AM ET on FIRSTtv.

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