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Posted 1/6/2014

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By Ryan McClymont
District Public Affairs Office

When I was six I played with Legos, but these kids take Lego-playing to another level. “Robopeople” is a team made up of four, six and seven-year-old girls from Santa Rosa, CA. They are part of the Junior First Lego League which encourages children to explore real world challenges and then troubleshoot solutions.

Guided by their adult coach Lev Luvishis the team decided to tackle a local danger, flooding. Mike Dillabough, San Francisco District chief of Operations and Readiness, volunteered to answer the team’s questions on flood risk management and offered some advice on dam building.

The San Francisco District encourages the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, and this was an ideal opportunity to reach out to some possible future scientists and engineers.

“STEM is not only important for the Corps of Engineers, but for the Nation itself. We have a tendency to overlook the fact that science and technology drive our lives in many different ways. I know science isn’t for everybody, but when you look at the pure raw statistics of how many scientists and engineers are being produced by other countries, we are rapidly falling behind,” said Dillabough.

The team is still in their research phase, but will begin construction of their Lego flood risk management dam in the near future.