Imagination Iowa hosts and sponsors (along with Samsung) a LEGO League team – #24559 “Red Dangerous” – made up of 10 elementary and middle school kids from around the Cedar Rapids area. The team is led by mentor Randy Bachman and coaches Eric Tastad and Shelley Kamp.
The team recently won first place in the state of Iowa at the championship in Ames, and is proceeding to the FIRST World Championships in St Louis, MO in April. Their design includes a model showing how their invention can prevent runoff from entering natural bodies of water to reduce algal blooms, which reduces the salmon population. The ten student inventors studied water quality, farming, salmon health, and other information contributing to their proposed solution through research and interviews with local experts.
FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a program in which participants grades 4-8, along with their adult coaches, work together to invent new solutions to real-world problems. They must then build and program a robot using LEGO products and be ready to compete against other teams on a national and international level.
Teams work after hours on evenings and weekends to plan and build their projects.
Teamwork is critical for FLL; almost all work is done in teams of 2 or more.
Team Red Dangerous showing off their latest robot build.
Students practice the presentation portion of their project: communicating clearly to judges how their invention solves the runoff problem that contributes to reduced salmon populations.
These are no ordinary LEGOs: FLL teams use advanced electronics including sensors and programmable computers to build their projects.
Team Red Dangerous
The competitions are major undertakings: 29,000 teams around the world compete to win one of the coveted 217 slots that advance to the FIRST World Championship.
The team celebrating its first place finish at the state championship in Ames, IA, before advancing to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.
The student-designed Red Dangerous logo