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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Local Students Tackle Real-World Water Challenges Using STEM and LEGO®

LEGO League visits Portland Water Bureau

We all remember middle school, right?

For many of us, designing water related problem-solving prototypes probably wasn’t a part of our daily life. But for more than 235,000 kids from 90 countries, that’s exactly what they’ve been up to this fall. As a part of the FIRST LEGO® League 2017-2018 HYDRO DYNAMICS℠ Challenge students are encouraged to learn all about how we find, transport, use, and/or dispose of water, and propose solutions for any issues they identify.

LEGO students display their project workPortland Water Bureau Staff Support Student Scientists

FIRST LEGO® League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. To do this, students are encouraged to meet with local experts about the problem they identified and gather feedback on their proposed solution. Staff from across the Portland Water Bureau have had the pleasure of working with several of these teams over the last few months, some of which headed to the Oregon FIRST LEGO® League Championship Tournament on Jan. 13 and 14!

Water Bureau staff worked with local LEGO® teams on developing in-home point source metering technology, phone applications to encourage kids to save water, rainwater harvesting prototypes, flowmeters, water quality testing, understanding hydraulic gradeline models, and more. Experts from operational analysis, the meter shop, education, communications, and water efficiency supported the students with feedback and resources.

LEGO students visit the Water BureauRobots on a Mission for Water

Teams also built, tested, and programed an autonomous robot to solve a series of water-usage-themed missions. Missions include removal of a broken water pipe, movement of sludge, filtering water, and more.

State Championship Tournament

Earlier this month, LEGO® teams progressed on to the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO® League Championship Tournament. Congratulations to all the students for their innovative designs, and to the tournament champions! We can’t wait to hear what you take on next.

Send us your resume in 10–15 years.