Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {FIRST Lego League}

Frannie has received a lot of calls lately from all over country from boys and girls participating in this year’s FIRST Lego League Challenge.  Why?  We’ll get to that, but first: What is FIRST Lego League, or FLL?  

Photo Credit: Denise Krebs
From their website, FLL “is a program that supports children and youngsters in order to introduce them to science and technology in a sporty atmosphere.”  The competition is divided into two parts that tackle different disciplines of a unique theme: the robot game and the research project.  In the robot game, teams practice the scientific method and hone their engineering skills to solve a mission with the help of an autonomous robot. The research projects, on the other hand, is the students’ prerogative to address an issue within their community and develop a product or solution with the help of agencies and experts in the field.

So why are they calling Frannie? Because this year’s FLL theme is Hydro Dynamics!  Teams will learn all about how to “find, transport, use, or dispose” of water as well as what we can do to help ourselves and the earth once we know what is happening to it.

Hydrogeology Challenge
The Groundwater Foundation has a lot of basic information about what groundwater is, why it is important, and what threatens it that can be read online.  The 30by30 (Google Play Store and iTunes) and Water1der (iTunes) apps are useful tools to track your water usage and practice your water trivia, respectively. Ambitious teams who can comfortably perform algebra can use the Hydrogeology Challenge to understand flow mechanics under normal (static) and pumping conditions. 

While The Groundwater Foundation can’t work with every single team, Frannie hopes that this information will help most students begin to understand the basic concepts of groundwater and hydrodynamics. For information specific to your region, call your local Health and Human Services or Water Utilities departments.  If you are part of an FLL team and you come up with an idea to improve one of our existing activities, please let us know by emailing guardian@groundwater.org.
Good luck in this competition season!

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