FIRST® LEGO® League Teams Recognized for Innovative Solutions to Natural Disaster

Students’ creative ideas for how to prepare, stay safe, and rebuild following natural disasters became award-winning inventions at the fourth annual FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) Global Innovation Award ceremony, held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va. Dean Kamen, inventor and founder ofFIRST®(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people’s participation and interest in science and technology, honored three FIRST® LEGO® League teams for their contemporary solutions during the ceremony.

More than 500 FIRST LEGO League teams across the globe submitted their inventions for the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award, presented by XPRIZE. The winning team received a cash award of $20,000 and the two runner-up teams each received $5,000.

WINNER – Balloon-Based Notification Sign by The Brain Busters of Sherborn, Massachusetts

The Balloon-Based Notification Sign indicates where to find aid after a natural disaster, when traditional infrastructure is not available. The large sign is suspended from a helium balloon that can be seen from very long distances and deployed in high winds, snow storms, and extreme cold.

RUNNER-UP – Cyclone Survivor Board Game by the Robotic Raiders of Williamsburg, Iowa

Cyclone Survivor is an educational board game that uses federal and local information to educate players on how to prepare for, survive and recover from a tornado.

RUNNER-UP – Tsunami Evacuation System by RobotTec of Santiago, Chile

The Tsunami Evacuation System appraises disorientation and not knowing where to go in a tsunami, and changes the current signage by replacing it with retro-reflectors on roads and adding LED lights that will flash in sequence.

For more information about FIRST LEGO League and the Global Innovation Award, visit