Girl Scout Team’s Life-Changing Prosthetic Device Wins Award

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April 18, 2011; Source: It’s fitting that the prize for winning the inaugural FIRST Lego League Global Innovations Award is being handed to a team of Girl Scouts from Ames, Iowa.  They won $20,000 from the First Lego League and X Prize Foundation for a prosthetic hand device that, according to is already ” changing the life of a 3-year-old born without fingers.”  The TV station says the device, called the BOB-1, is easy to take on and off, and “allows users with limb abnormalities to hold, grip, stabilize or secure items.”  For instance, the young girl using the prosthetic hand can “hold a pencil and write for the first time.”  The prize money will enable the winning team, known as the Flying Monkeys, to patent their invention.  The competition, which is meant to encourage more children to get involved in science, suggests that that young people are a rich source of potentially life-changing ideas. “The winning team’s working prototype, which is already improving the life of a young child, proves that FIRST participants are making the world a better place with their creative problem-solving skills,” said President of DEKA Research & Development and Founder of the New Hampshire-based nonprofit For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which is known as FIRST.—Bruce Trachtenberg