Group of middle schoolers in Renton using Legos to solve real-world problems

VIDEO: Middle school students in Renton build LEGO Robotics cross-walk design

RENTON, Wash. — A group of middle schoolers in Renton is using Legos to solve real-world problems and save lives.

“I was driving to school with my dad one day and I actually watched somebody almost get hit by a semi-truck,” seventh grader Ava Oyer explained.

That real-life scare sparked a Lego-sized creation of what one day may be the crosswalk of the future.

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She and her robotics team from the First Lego League at Renton Christian School then started creating their "Universal Design Crosswalk." It's meant so that everyone, especially people with disabilities, can feel safer about crossing the street. It incorporates camera sensor technology, a new specially designed traffic signal, and a chip card scanner.

“We designed the light so cars can see that the person in the crosswalk needs more time to cross,” added seventh grader Daniel Tse.

The team is made up of five students, both seventh and eighth grade boys and girls. They recently competed at qualifiers and took home the Robot Performance Award for highest points earned.

They're now getting ready for semi-finals next weekend at Chinook Middle School in Lacey.

Head coach Lisa McMurrick said it’s more than just about winning.

“I hope they get out of this how to work as a team, how to include everyone, how to look at the world in a bigger picture other than what's right in front of them,” McMurrick explained.

The team is also researching patents for their “Universal Design Crosswalk.”