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From Friendship Village Sunset Hills To The White House: Local Girls + Jill Frein + Facilities Committee = An Incredible Honor

A local team of girls, named “The Blockheads” (Girl Scout Troop 1484), set out to research and solve a problem related to trash and recycling, then build a robot and compete with the First Lego League.

They began their research by visiting Friendship Village Sunset Hills. They met with Jill Frein – a project manager with expertise in construction and managing waste. They talked to Mrs. Ellie Kaiser, a FVSH resident and head of the FVSH facilities committee. They also talked to the Environmental Services Director, Mr. Jim Mesnier, a resident lawyer, and the Food and Beverage Director. They learned that FVSH throws away 20,0000 Styrofoam cups every month. The residents admit that paper cups would be more environmentally responsible but want to keep fees low. Paper cups cost more.

The girls continued with a tour at a waste facility and learned that Styrofoam takes up significant space and lasts there for more than 500 years.

Though middle school students, they did not shy away from a big problem. When told there was no solution to recycle Styrofoam, they lived up to their name – and they put their heads together.

In the end, they found a way to reduce a six foot by three foot by three foot stack of polystyrene and turn it into…are you ready…a few bottles of GLUE! They named it EcoGlOo and competed in the First Lego League. After winning awards for teamwork, values, and innovation – they submitted their project for consideration in the 2016 White House Science Fair. And...the White House chose their project!

The Blockheads, the only team from Missouri and the only Girl Scout troop, on April 13, presented their work at the White House and met President Obama. 

Friendship Village Sunset Hills residents, honored to be a part of their work, remain so proud of these girls!

KSDK Article: