"Kestrelbot" Wins First Lego League Global Challenge

Each year, teams from all over the world participate in the First Lego League challenge. This past year, the "Aztechs2," a team made up of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from Adobe Bluffs Elementary School in Rancho Peñasquitos, CA , used a Kestrel 4500 as the centerpiece for their lego project.

Kids with kestrel poster and kestrel bot
(Team Picture– Back row: Casey “Captain Kestrel” K., Noah L., Caden M., Mitch H, Rohan P. Front: Jacob H, Noah D.)

The topic for this year's First Lego League Challenge was "Nature's Fury." Teams were tasked with coming up with either a brand new solution or an improvement to a current solution to 'nature's fury.' The Aztechs2 decided that they would attempt to find a solution to wildfires in San Diego. As part of their research, the team traveled to the regional National Weather Service Center to learn more about Kestrel Weather Meters and how firefighters are currently use it to help fight wildfires.

Kids with kestrel

After conducting their research, the Aztechs2 brainstormed solutions and eventually came up with the idea to mount a Kestrel 4500 onto a small robot. The team believed that having the Kestrel on a robot would allow for more accurate readings since the robot could get closer to the fire than a person. The data would then be sent from the "Kestrelbot" to the fire fighters so they could decide on the best course of action. The team presented their idea to the fire fighters from CalFire, who thought that this was a fantastic idea!

The team built a cardboard prototype and brought it to a CalFire - San Miguel Fire Station to get expert feedback on their design. The firemen loved the design, told the boys that it would save lives, and help predict the movement of the wildfires. The team had come up with a new solution that was useful!

Kids with kestrel

Finally, the day of the big local qualifying tournament had arrived. The Aztechs2 would be one of 25 teams competing. The Aztechs2 knew their Kestrelbot was needed and a real world solution, but there were many other great solutions too. The boys presented their findings, explained how they decided on the Kestrelbot, shared their research, and showed the cardboard prototype. When the final awards ceremony took place, the Aztechs2 received the first place trophy for their project!

The Aztechs2 want to thank Nielsen-Kellerman for their support and generous donation of the Kestrel. This was a key to the team's success—they even became known as the “Kestrel Life Savers”. The team has also started the process for patenting their invention!"