More than twenty Iowa teams competed in the FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier at Indian Hills Community College Saturday, December 2. Two Ottumwa TAG teams advanced and will compete against more than 70 teams from around the state in the Iowa FLL Championship on Saturday, January 13 at Iowa State University. FLL's theme this year is HydroDynamics, focusing on problems within the human water cycle and how people find, use, transport, and dispose of water.
Team 363 Water Warriors , made up of four 4th graders and six 5th graders representing district elementary schools, were awarded first place for the Core Values/teamwork award, third place in the robot performance, and advanced to the state competition. Team members include: Jayadev Kurmadas and Lydia Schmidt, 4th grade, Liberty; Brandon Hemminger, 5th grade, Liberty; Talise Plate, 5th grade, Horace Mann; Veni Kotev, 4th grade, Eisenhower; Kate Pagorek and Camdyn Crouse, 5th grade, Eisenhower; Carlos Jimenez and Isabel Fisher, 5th grade, Wilson; and Mia Bishop, 4th grade, James. The team is coached by Breanna Hinmon, an Ottumwa K-5 TAG teacher. The team is also mentored by three Ottumwa High School students who were previous FLL participants, Josie Young, Tyler Brown, and Hannah Jeffrey.
Team 794 Krakens from Evans Middle School will also be advancing to state competition. The team took first place in project. Team members are: Caleb Norman, Jarrett Wellings, Madilyn Greene, Michael Cain, Luke Graeve, Lydia Roling, Sara McElroy, Reese Bradford and Carter Kendrick. The team is coached by Heidi Bradford, Talented and Gifted teacher from Evans Middle School.
Team 794 Aqualad(ie)s placed second in project but will not advance to state. Team members included: Kaitlyn Scott, Elaine Prose, Calvin Neely, Penelope Teel, Emma Strayer, Gael Batres, Olivia Palen, Bret Shepard, Payton Brannen in the Back Shawn Galloway and North Lindell.
Every September, First LEGO League releases a challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic. Each challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, Project, and Core Values. Teams of up to 10 students, typically in 4th-8th grade, participate in the challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game) and developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by FIRST LEGO League’s eight Core Values.
By designing challenges around real world topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths, in addition to supporting learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Team members also learn valuable life, teamwork, and employment skills, which will benefit them no matter which career path they choose.
The Iowa FLL Championship is hosted by Iowa State Engineering Kids (ISEK), a program from the Iowa State University College of Engineering Outreach and Education that promotes science, technology, and engineering to K-12 students.
Team 794 Krakens