The Echo
FIRST Lego League Team Takes Home Top Award

The Echo

FIRST Lego League Team Takes Home Top Award

Published on December 12, 2016
Written by Katie Jepson


When the Elemental Robots decided to tackle bats and wind turbines as part of their FIRST Lego League challenge, they reached out to Bat Conservation International for assistance. With guidance from Bat Conservation International, the team from Milwaukee Montessori School won the most prestigious award, the Champion's Award. Coach Jaime Wszelaki shares with us some more: 

An up-and-coming elementary school robotics team, the Milwaukee Montessori School Elemental Robots, received vital support and information from Bat Conservation International, helping them to win the Champion’s Award at the FIRST Lego League Wisconsin Regionals.

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Members of the team show off the BAT-Saber
Courtesy of Jaime Wszelaki

The Elemental Robots, wishing to put technology in the service of the environment, spent the first half of the semester designing the BAT-Saber. The BAT-Saber is designed to deter bats from flying near these structures. BAT-Sabers attached to a single wind turbine could possibly save hundreds of thousands of bats a year.

The BAT-Saber is designed to repel bats by broadcasting irritating, high-frequency sounds that only bats can hear. The students began by designing an algorithm using JAVA to modulate the high-frequency sounds emitted, as modulating the high-frequency sound may further disorient bats compared to a constant sound.

At this point, students reached out to Bat Conservation International for information about bats and wind turbines. The students learned about how bat echolocation works, the frequencies which bats can hear, and the number of devices needed per turbine from Dr. Cris Hein.

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Courtesy of Jaime Wszelaki

The design of the device won the Elemental Robots their second Champion’s Award in the last three years. The team was also nominated for the prestigious Project Award and advanced to sectionals.

Coach Jaime Wszelaki is proud of her students and said she, “instilled networking and teamwork into the kids. Nothing can be accomplished alone, but only by sharing knowledge with each other and helping each other grow.”

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