18 of the top FIRST LEGO League teams from across Ontario presented their solutions on Hydro Dynamics on February 25

What do you get when you challenge kids across Ontario to come up with innovative solutions to global challenges? A lot of intelligent, smart, well-researched ideas. FIRST® students work together to find unique solutions to real-world challenges. Teams build skills through hands-on, project-based learning challenges. FIRST® creates future innovators.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) students (9- to 16-year-olds) design an innovative solution during their season. Outstanding solutions may compete in the annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award.

It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their discovery journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges.

This season’s challenge was Hydro Dynamics, where the teams were challenged to improve the way people find, transport, use, or dispose of water. Teams of students ages 9-14 set out on this challenge in September 2017, researching a specific human water cycle challenge, and design an innovative solution to improve it. FLL sees hundreds of teams participating around the world each year.

In Ontario, teams participate in local and regional qualifiers, and 18 of the most innovation solutions are selected to advance to the Ontario Innovation Celebration, where each team pitches their idea to a panel of judges. The judges will then select the three most innovative solutions to represent Ontario in the Global Innovation Award (GIA) competition. 20 semi-finalists will attend the GIA in June in San Jose, California, vying for the top prize of $20,000 USD to continue work on their inventions. Nominations for this award come from over 80 countries.

Meet the three winning Ontario Innovation Celebration teams:

Stembotics from Aurora developed the Smart Rainwater Harvesting Home Kit to help home owners conserve potable water for outdoor use so they can save money and reduce storm water runoff. The product can also help municipalities save money on processing potable water for outside use and gather intelligent data analytics through the cloud similar to smart meters without the burden of installations.

The Walking Lead from Toronto developed The Royal Flush, an automated tap flusher that ensures the water is kept lead free. It does this by capturing an initial minimum temperature of water at the beginning of the day after a 5 minute flush and then every 30 minutes it flushes until the minimum temperature is reached. This gives a 99% reduction in lead throughout the entire day.

Rain Regents from Leamington developed the BirdSpa allows homeowners to safely and conveniently appreciate and provide for birds in a new way. Unlike conventional bird baths, our bird spa automatically replenishes water to prevent algae and mosquito growth. Birds and people remain safe.