We receive all kinds of invaluable support from around the world from individuals who care about helping our patients. This week, we met a special group of students from Oakland, Maryland who prove that anyone, regardless of age, can change lives and restore hope to those who need it most.
Each fall, an international youth organization called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) calls on FIRST LEGO Leagues around the world to address a specific challenge as a team. The teams, comprised of youth ages 9-14, work together to develop solutions to the challenge and end the project by building and presenting a LEGO-made robot.
Last year, FIRST asked teams to come up with projects to address “World Class Education” and the challenge caught the attention of teammates Drew, age 9, and Serena, age 10. They saw the challenge as an opportunity to help people, particularly survivors of severe burn injuries in developing countries.
With the help of their coaches, the students got to work learning about the challenges burn survivors face, and while researching, came across ReSurge International, an organization also working to help survivors of burn injuries. Drew and Serena learned about how ReSurge reconstructive surgery can allow burn survivors to return to school and work.
Drew and Serena came up with impressively innovative concepts of ways to help, including the idea of a website that could serve as a support tool for burn survivors and their families. But they didn’t stop there.
While fundraising is not traditionally part of FIRST LEGO League projects, Drew, Serena and the rest of their teammates were inspired by ReSurge’s work and came up with a plan to raise money to help ReSurge patients. The team gave a presentation about burn injuries and ReSurge at their elementary school. The talk was televised on the school’s morning news broadcast. The team asked their fellow classmates to each donate $1 and wear orange to support ReSurge’s work. Not only was the fundraiser a success, but Drew and Serena’s FIRST LEGO League team advanced to regionals where they got to present their research, idea for the website and their mission-completing robot.
We would like to congratulate Drew, Serena and the rest of their team on their success with their FIRST LEGO League project! We would also like to thank them for their leadership in bringing awareness to the important issue of burn injuries and for their support in helping us change the lives of our patients!