Three Ottumwa Talented and Gifted teams advanced during regional First LEGO League competition and will compete against 60 teams in the Iowa Championship on Sunday, January 17 at Iowa State University. The Iowa 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. The theme this year is “Trash Trek,” focusing on the way we make and handle trash or recycling items.
The Nerd Herd team is made up of fourth graders and fifth graders and is coached by Miss Hinmon, a K-5 Talented and Gifted teacher for the Ottumwa Schools. The Nerd Herd team won first place for the project award and placed 7th best overall in the regional qualifier competition, qualifying the team to advance to the state competition. Team members include: Payton Brannen, Cody Carroll, and Jake Mellin, Eisenhower Elementary; Reese Bradford, Ava Hanson, and Sam McElderry, Horace Mann Elementary; and Madi Greene, Carter Kendrick, Carson Kenney, and Emma Strayer, Liberty Elementary.
Team 792 Biodegration Nation is a team made up of sixth, seventh, and eighth Grade TAG students from Evans Middle School. Biodegration Nation received awards for 2nd place in Robot Performance and 2nd place in Research Project. Their research project presentation solution took on the lunch trays and food waste in school cafeterias. Team members include: Josie Young, Landen Niles, Penelope Teel, Elaine Prose, Braydon Songer, Drake Little, Olivia Palen, North Lindell, Isaac Bradford, and Calvin Neely.
Team 794 Project Trashway is a team made up of 7th and 8th Grade TAG students from Evans Middle School. Project Trashway received the Overall Championship Award. Their research topic solution showed different ways to reduce the use of plastic bag use and the reduction of textile waste that fills up our landfills. Team members include Sam Leon, Evan Hanson, Spencer Ehrenhard. Carollin Mellin, Isabelle Mellin, Jili Butler, Emma Weilbrenner, Hayden Short and Meggie Parker. Both teams are coached by Heidi Bradford and Zach Forrett, teachers from Evans Middle School.
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, the Project, and the Core Values. Teams of up to 10 children, ages 9-14 years old, participate in the challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all while being guided by the First LEGO League’s 8 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 and employment skills which will benefit them no matter which career path they choose.
Team Biodegration Nation
Team Pilot Trashway