Forest Guard Press Release

 
Lego Guard/Forest Guard Press Release
Local Youth team wins Competition at
 Children’s Climate Action in Copenhagen, Denmark
SONY to help implement Forest Guard:  Early Wildfire Detection System
The Lego Guards won the Innovation Award, the highest award presented, at the Children’s Climate Action Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark May 1-3. Their project, called Forest Guard, is an innovative idea for an early wildfire detection system. The Climate Action committee reviewed the project information of over 13,000 teams in over 40 countries, and selected only 6 teams from around the world to go to Denmark. The Lego Guards are extremely honored and thrilled to have won the top award and will work hard to have their project implemented in real life with the help of SONY.  The team was also honored to meet with his Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark to discuss their award winning idea.
 
 The Lego Guards, based in Meadow Vista, are a local FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team. The team is made up of Placer County home schooled students. For most of the members, this is their first year involved in this organization.
FIRST, a not-for-profit public charity, aims to interest children ages 9-14 in engineering, robotics and teamwork with their FLL program. The program develops a challenge each year based on researching and solving a real-world issue - this year's topic was climate - and teams, such as the Lego Guards, not only built a robot capable of completing set tasks for table competitions, but also researched a climate based problem and developed an innovative solution to present for judging.
Because of the importance of the topic, FIRST and the LEGO Group joined forces to create this event - called Children’s Climate Call and SONY helped sponsor the event.  The FIRST judges awarded the Innovate Award to the project that they felt had demonstrated thorough research skills paired with creativity in the proposed solution and whose proposal stands the most realistic chance of being implementable. By winning this award, and with the help of SONY, the Lego Guard’s project, Forest Guard, will be modeled into a working prototype with the hopes of being implemented in real life soon. It will be presented at the World Climate Summit (COP15) in December 2009 to demonstrate that children can make a difference!
 
For their “Climate Connections” presentation, the Lego Guards chose early wildfire detection as their subject and they call their system “Forest Guard”. Their idea would use solar powered video cameras mounted throughout the forest which are linked to the internet.  They would provide a free screen saver which would let people enjoy the photos of the forest, while also looking out for fires.  The Lego Guards will attend a workshop this summer at the SONY labs in Basingstoke, UK to continue working on creating a prototype of  Forest Guard, and to hopefully test it in real life soon.
 
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with the team, please contact:  
Heidi Buck (Coach) at: heidi@legoguards.net. Additional information about the Forest Guard system can be found at http://www.forestguards.org

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