This blog was written by Teju Vijay, volunteer coach with a FIRST LEGO league robotics team. Teju is a High School student in Montgomery County.
A team of elementary and middle school students in Montgomery County is working on an innovation project related to sustainable energy sources.
Named after the fierce Greek goddess and NASA exploration program, Team Artemis is a six member, all-girls team that participates in the FIRST® LEGO® LEAGUE Challenge of Maryland robotics program. Since September of 2022, the team has been focused on addressing challenges related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
The team has responded to the challenge by designing a sidewalk system, named ArtemisWalk, that generates electricity from people’s footsteps and solar power. The electricity generated can then be used to light up street lamps or power local businesses.
ArtemisWalk generates electricity through two sources: piezoelectricity, the ability to generate power through mechanical stress, and solar power, the ability to harness energy from the sun. The team described that ArtemisWalk tiles can be added to popular areas such as Rockville Town Center, Rio Washingtonian, and metro stations to maximize the amount of energy generated.
The team built a prototype sidewalk tile out of cardboard, bottle caps, wires, solar panels, piezoelectric transducers, LED lights, and glass tiles. They used items like bottle caps and cardboard from packaging boxes to highlight that their final product will be made with recycled materials. Team members demonstrated that the LEDs around a cardboard house would light up when pressure was applied or if light was shone onto the tile.
Since the creation of the first prototype, the team has reviewed their project with and received feedback from managers at the Department of Environmental Protection of the Montgomery County Government, a civil engineer from WSSC, and businesses in Rockville Town Center.
Currently, Artemis members are focusing on creating a larger scale prototype that can be implemented in large and common areas.
The team is one of four advancing teams from their qualifying competition. They will now be presenting their idea and competing with the top Maryland teams at the State Championships at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County at the end of February 2023. They hope to continue to improve their design, share their innovation with others, and one day, see it implemented in a lot of areas in our community.
Team Artemis was named top 5 at the Maryland State Championship on Saturday, February 25 and are advancing to a US Invitational event!
2023 Maryland Championship Results!
The Department of Environmental Protection, wishes team Artemis best of luck with the next steps!