South Burlington team recognized for innovation as FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE® semi-finalist


June 15, 2016

FIRST® LEGO® League announced 20 semi-finalist teams would advance to the Sixth Annual FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE®.

The Green Mountain Gears team from South Burlington, Vt., was selected from entries from 23 countries for their outstanding project innovative solution, the “Sorta Scrappy” app, which demonstrated originality while having the potential to add significant value in the world. The team will travel to Washington, D.C., from June 20-22 to present their innovation to expert judges.

Green Mountain Gears have participated in Norwich University’s FIRST® LEGO® League “sports for the mind” robotics competition for all three years it has been held in Vermont. The Green Mountain Gears were recognized with the Champions Award at the November 2015 Vermont State Championship and were subsequently nominated for the Global Innovation Award.

The “Sorta Scrappy” app – an innovation related to garbage – is available for free download on the Google Play and iTunes APP store. The team’s development process is extensively documented with photos on its website:

All semi-finalists will participate in a two day, hands-on innovation event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which culminates in the awarding of the top prize of $20,000 USD from presenting sponsor XPRIZE® to continue work on their inventions; two runners-up will take home $5,000 each.

Green Mountain Gears are part of Teams of Innovative Problem Solvers (TIPS):, a non-profit that supports groups of children in problem solving competitions, such as FIRST and Odyssey of the MInd.  TIPS hopes to produce world class problem-solving teams of Vermont kids that qualify for national and international competitions to showcase their solutions and to start innovative businesses.

The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE demonstrates that FIRST LEGO League teams emerge from the program as better visionaries and divergent thinkers—and yes, as actual inventors. Past winning teams have focused on helping people and changing lives—from a device that allowed a toddler with a hand difference to learn to write, to an erasable barcode that warns consumers of food spoilage, to a touch-based App allowing blind children to learn Braille unassisted.  The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation teams are changing the world, one invention at a time.

FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9 to 16 year-old children (ages vary by country) created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills. Children work alongside adult Mentors to design, build, and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project.

Innovators and inventors play a critical role in growing our economy and improving our quality of life. The FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE is designed to encourage and assist teams with the further development of their original and important ideas for solving global issues. Inventions under consideration in the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Semi-Finals epitomize innovative thinking and the FIRST mantra More than RobotsSM.

The Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE, is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, John Deere, LEGO Education, NRG, Rockwell Collins, and in collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $20 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Junior for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

To learn more about the “FLL WORLD CLASS” Challenge, go to


The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932.

The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of children’s creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO® brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries.

For more information, visit

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, and FIRST® Tech Challenge are trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and the LEGO Group. ©2016 FIRST. All rights reserved.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

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