When you think of LEGOs, what comes to mind?

For members of Fast Thinking Girls, a Girl Scout-sponsored team, they think of an opportunity to change the world.

The Fast Thinking Girls (GIRLS stands for: Great Intelligent Robotics Loving Science) was one of the 20 semifinalist teams selected from entries across 23 countries for their innovative solution FIRF: Food Into Renewable Fuel.

“[FIRF] will keep food out of landfills which will reduce methane in the atmosphere and reduce global warming,” said the girls from Girl Scout Troops 40915 and 40792 and Service Unit 404 in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  “It will also help people have a more convenient way to recycle food.”

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Fast Thinking Girls visit The Plant in Chicago to study a commercial digester.

The girls will be traveling from to Washington, D.C. this month to present their innovation to expert judges.  There, they will participate in a two-day hands-on event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, aiming for the top prize of $20,000.

“We are most excited to go to Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony and to meet the teams from other countries like Canada, Germany and Spain,” said the girls.  “Making a real prototype and getting a patent is also something we look forward to. We can’t wait to see it work!”

This was not an easy feat.  These troops completed a research project with involved working with mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS.

“Learning the new EV3 software for our robot and understanding what anaerobic digestion [were the hardest parts],” said the team.  “It took us a long time to figure out our solution. This year’s solution is really complicated and there are a lot of pieces we still need to figure out.”

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The team meets with engineers at Underwriters Laboratories.

These girls are joining the ranks of innovators and creators who have helped the world tremendously.  Past winners created solutions like helping toddlers with hand differences learn to write and erasable bar codes to warn consumers about food spoilage.

Luckily for the girls, they had the Girl Scout skills to support them throughout their journey.

“Girl Scouts helped us learn and research about new things, helped us create, design and talk to specialists and professionals to help create our FIRF,” said the troops.  “They have also given us the tools to learn how to communicate better with my team and resolve conflict.  They have given us support every step of our journey and shown us that our ideas are important even with providing money to help us during the season.  We have taken some classes about engineering and they invited us to talk to a group of engineers about our FIRF.  We think being on a team with just girls is better.”

Want to watch the team in action? Tune in to the live stream on Wednesday, June 22 at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET by clicking HERE!

Girl Scouts FIRST Robotics is powered by Exelon

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