John Stark Senior Julia Meisser with the CWES Dream Team
John Stark Senior Julia Meisser is an innovative thinker who has long enjoyed the challenges of FIRST LEGO League in middle school and then robotics teams while in high school. So when it was time to select a Capstone Project in her senior year at John Stark, she knew she wanted to do something that related to her interest in science and engineering. Julia’s project was to create the first-ever Lego League Junior Team at Center Woods Elementary School.
“FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has been instrumental in helping me discover what I want to do in the future and gain real world skills, and I wanted to do something that would challenge me while broadening my people skills,” said Julia. “And besides that, my little sister, Grace, who goes to Center Woods, wanted to do FIRST Lego League Junior, so I couldn't say no to her!”
Julia coordinated her project at Center Woods Elementary School with Center Woods Principal Jess Potter. As she is too young to technically coach a team, Julia also was assisted by her mom, Victoria Meisser, and another CWES parent, Michelle Gosselin.
Over the summer, Julia began recruiting members for a team and the CWES Dream Team was born. The Team was made up of CWES students Ben Gosselin, Dominic Valentin, Lexi Dolan, Grace Meisser, and Kayleigh Evans. The Challenge—-the Aqua Adventure Challenge—asked students to choose a water use, find a problem that existed within that water use, and build a Lego model and a "Show Me" poster to demonstrate their solution to the problem.
To get started, the Dream Team was given a kit with materials for building a model and engineering notebooks to help guide them through the process of researching their topic and building their model. The CWES Dream Team chose farming. The problem they needed to solve was one that has been on the minds of many this winter—pipes freezing.
The Dream Team created a LEGO model showing all of their solutions to get the water and ice from the well into the house. They used an ice grinder to break up the ice, a laser gun to melt the ice, and a transporter and a ramp to get the water to the heating pads to warm the water up. The pipes brought the water into the barn.
“The students did a great job presenting their project to the judges at the Expo and won the “Show and Tell” award for best use of their “Show Me” poster and model throughout the presentation,” commented Julia. The Expo was held in December at Hollis-Brookline High School. “The Team is finished for the year, but I am so proud of the team and hopeful that the program will continue next year at Center Woods,” concluded Julia.
The Capstone Project at John Stark Regional High School is a graduation requirement that demonstrates a student’s ability to perform new and independent learning to accomplish a goal of personal interest. Students are guided by a mentor through the Capstone Project experience.