On January 22, sixteen members of the CAMS Robo-Knights and Robo-Patriots teams, and their coaches Wendy Grimshaw and Randy Brinkley, participated in a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gala Industries plant. Gala’s Mike Dudding (Vice President) and Tim Falls (Research and Development) devoted over 2 hours of their time, sharing information about product development in the plastics industry. The students were extremely engaged throughout the place-based learning event, asking thoughtful questions about technologies, materials, manufacturing, tools, machinery, careers and products, as they observed the many departments involved in the creation of pelletized systems. Following the field trip, Mr. Dudding arranged for the team to network with a patent attorney based in Atlanta, who has offered to help the students learn more about protecting their Senior Solutions project ideas from this season’s FLL Robotics challenge.
Both students and coaches are appreciative of the Gala team for their willingness to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning both in and beyond the K-12 classroom setting. With the help of Mr. Ryan Schneider, of Troutman Sanders LLP, the students now have “U.S. Patent Pending” inventions (they have registered provisional patents with the US Patent Office). And now that their inventions are protected, they have entered the inventions in this year’s First Lego League Global Innovations competition in the hopes that they can take their innovative ideas to market. To help them succeed in this effort, please visit http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/teams and search for the CAMS/4H Robo-Patriots and the CAMS/4H Robo-Knights team project ideas. Then vote for their project ideas. Your vote could make the difference!
Submitted by Randy Brinkley