Great Season for our Black Hawk County Lego Teams!

Black Hawk County 4-H "Bricks of Brilliance" First Lego League (FLL) had a great day at the Cedar Falls Regional Qualifier.  Presentation and solution were rewarded with the Global Innovation Award!  They also received honorable mention for Robot Performance - 2nd highest score - 5 off the highest score of the day. And additional received the Champion's Award (top team overall). Coached by Shawn and Michele Pezley! Congratulations and best wishes at STATE!

Black Hawk County 4-H Lego Dynamite Team (Jr. FFL) Cedar Falls FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo which took place on Saturday, December 5 at Peet JR High in Cedar Falls.  There were a total of 14 Jr Lego teams.  For the event, there was a morning session with 7 Lego JR teams and another 7 teams in the afternoon.  Each team had a display and a model that they built during their Lego season (our team had 10 meetings in 10 weeks), and the showcase gave them a chance to talk about how their model and display showed the “waste wise” theme.  The idea is that the kids should come up with the ideas and do the work, and our team did a great job.  My team, the Lego Dynamite team, built a model that showed how plastics such as milk cartons can be recycled and built into new things, such as playground equipment.  The models also had to include a simple machine, and the kids actually included several in their model – a moving tire swing (wheel and axle, a teeter totter (lever), a slide (inclined plane) and some gears that made the tire swing spin.  During the season they learned how to work as a team and developed teamwork skills, learned to research a topic and write about it, and then they worked as a team to answer questions about their project in the showcase.  In Lego Jr the kids aren’t competing, they are showing what they have done.  The judges award each team a certificate that highlights something they saw in the kids’ work – Lego Dynamite team’s certificate was for “inquiring minds” because they tried several different ideas and finally were able to agree on a theme and model that everyone could contribute to.  Coached by Jean Jones
GREAT JOB! Lego Dynamite Team!

Team #13004, Operation EV3. The team had 5 boys from various grades and schools; Jack and Levi Schwestka (4th grade, Southdale), Camden Schneider (6th grade, Hoover), Nathaniel Smith (6th grade, Bunge) and Ivan Schwestka (8th grade, Peet). This team was unique in that they chose a tracks design for the robot. It's rare for teams to be able to get tracks to work consistently. This team was able to refine their design so that at least one mission was successful most of the time. We ran out of time to be able to refine the other missions they were working on. Their team project this year focused on preventing plastic trash from entering the ocean. It is called Ocean Plastic Preventer (OPP). It is designed to sit in or near the mouth of a river. It is similar to a barge, it floats on top of the water. Water is able to flow through the OPP, there is a net to capture large plastic trash, but let fish swim through. The OPP has solar powered doors that close and trap in the collected trash when it is full. The plastic is emptied by employees and sorted for recycling. Throughout the season, they learned about FIRST LEGO Core Values. They learned to work as a team. They also learned a little about how to do research for the project. Coached by Tara Sundt and Gwen Schwestka. Fantastic Work!

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