FIRST® Recognizes Students for Innovation in Waste Management in Sixth Annual FIRST®LEGO® League Global Innovation Award Contest Presented by XPRIZE

Ohio Team Takes Top Prize for Styrofoam Waste Converter

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ilooklikeaninventor–Students’ creative ideas to improve waste management became
award-winning inventions at the sixth annual FIRST® LEGO® League
Global Innovation Award presented by XPRIZE® ceremony, held yesterday at
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia. Dean
, inventor and founder of FIRST® ,
honored 20 FIRST® LEGO® League teams
for their innovative solutions during the ceremony which included
parents, students, Coaches, patent experts, Sponsors, and waste
management experts. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of
Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization that inspires
young people’s participation and interest in science and technology.

FIRST LEGO League teams from 21 countries across the globe
submitted their inventions for the FIRST LEGO League Global
Innovation Award
presented by XPRIZE, the global leader
in designing and implementing innovative competition models to help
solve some of the world’s grandest challenges. A panel of
expert judges reviewed the submissions and then selected a winning team
and two runner-up teams after meeting with teams over the course of the
two day event. The winning team received a cash award of $20,000 and the
two runner-up teams each received $5,000.

WINNER – Styro-Filter by The Incredibots of Gahanna, Ohio

The Styro-Filter is a device in which Styrofoam waste is
successfully converted into activated carbon that can be used to purify
water. Using a low temperature, enclosed process to carbonize Styrofoam
and etch it using chemical reagents, the process produces activated
carbon with a surface area of over 100 square meters per gram. The
activated carbon is then placed into the Styro-Filter, producing
purified water. The patent-pending Styro-Filter process has the
potential to reduce the nearly two billion pounds of non-recyclable
Styrofoam that is thrown away each year in the United States.

RUNNER-UP – Water Soluble 6-Pack Rings by Cyber Tigers of Austin, Tex.

The Water Soluble 6-Pack Rings were developed as a solution to
issues facing marine wildlife. The Cyber Tigers found that marine
wildlife were being harmed and dying as a result of being trapped in or
ingesting traditional 6-pack rings made by beverage companies to hold
plastic bottles or cans. The current plastic rings on the market take
months to degrade, and even then small pieces can be eaten by marine
wildlife, including birds and turtles. The Water Soluble 6-Pack Rings
dissolve when either submerged in water or exposed to enough rain to
where they completely dissolve, making them safe for the animals and the

RUNNER-UP – Chipsulation by Robostallions of Stuart, Fl.

Chipsulation was developed in response to the problem of chip
bags collecting in landfills – the polyethylene contained in chip bags
prevents them from being recyclable. Chipsulation is insulation made
from shredded chip bags, offering better and cheaper insulation. By
shredding the chip bags and turning them into insulation, Chipsulation
prevents the build-up of chip bags in landfills.

2015-2016 FIRST LEGO League Challenge

As part of the 2015-2016 TRASH TREKSM Challenge, FIRST LEGO
League teams (students ages 9-16) in 80 countries were asked to explore
the fascinating world of trash; from collection, to sorting, to smart
production and reuse. More than 233,000 children worldwide learned there
is more to your trash than meets the eye.

“We’re proud to support FIRST. There are so many ways for NRG and
our employees to participate – whether through financial support or
mentorship, the students win and so do our employees. FIRST isn’t
just about robotics, it’s about making a positive impact in our
communities. It’s incredible for our mentors to be able to share our
real world expertise while helping develop important life skills for
these students.” Jennifer Wallace, Senior Vice President, NRG and FIRST

FIRST LEGO League partners with Award Sponsors to advance a
common goal: fostering innovative problem-solvers. XPRIZE was Presenting
Sponsor of the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award for
the sixth consecutive year. XPRIZE attracts the world’s top innovators
and supports them in tackling the grand challenges faced by society.

“We believe that solutions to the problems facing humanity can come from
anyone and anywhere. I hope that these innovative and creative teams
will continue to inspire other kids, as they might come up with an idea
that can truly change the world.” Yvonne Cooper, Senior Director,
Marketing and Communications, XPRIZE.

As part of the event, the 20 Semi-Finalist teams attended a field trip
to FIRST Strategic Partner Booz Allen Hamilton’s new Innovation
Center – a multi-functional, co-working space designed to solve global
challenges through interdisciplinary engagement and boundless

Global Innovation Award Partners in Innovation Sponsors include: Booz
Allen Hamilton, John Deere, Rockwell Collins, NRG Energy, Inc., and LEGO
Education, in cooperation with the USPTO.

Find more information about FIRST LEGO
League and the Global Innovation Award

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean
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 $25 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 Jr.
for Grades K-4. Gracious
® 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


Brooke Blew, 603-206-2048
Dunn, 603-206-2494