Lenihan’s FIRST LEGO League teams earn high marks

Two FIRST LEGO League teams from Lenihan Intermediate competed at the FLL Championship Tournament Saturday, Jan. 15, at Iowa State University.

“FLL is an exceptional program that teaches youth the importance of collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation,” said Karen Roessler, Lenihan ELP teacher and Lego League coach. “The students must create and develop their own robot, robot programming, and innovative solution to their research problem.  I know some of these kids will be future leaders in research and design.”

Seventy-two teams competed in four events: robotics performance, robot programming and design, FLL core values, and research presentations.

Lenihan’s fifth grade team, Technic Medics 5, came home with the first place trophy for robot programming and design.  Their work in designing three robot prototypes and the systematic testing of the robots’ efficiency was sited for their success. This first-year team consists of Joshua Arment, Lucas Duff, Maggie Grimm, Jill Podhajsky, and Martin Runquist.  The team is coached by volunteers Frank Roessler and Mark Runquist, along with ELP teacher Karen Roessler.

Lenihan’s sixth grade team, NEM JJ BioMedics, made their way into the Championship round of awards and were distinguished with the 2nd place overall trophy.  Teams presented with the top three places must show excellence in all four portions of the tournament.  Team members include Mary Margaret Drummer, Juliana Osgood, Jake Streeter, Nick Summers, and Ethan Thill.  The team is sponsored by the Noon Optimists who provided both financial support and an outstanding technical coach. Coaches are volunteer Pete Peterson and Karen Roessler. This team researched Alzheimer’s disease and received expert information from staff at Villa del Sol and Cindy Zhand, retired director of the dementia unit at the Iowa Veteran’s Home.

“The dedication of these young students and their enthusiasm toward learning is amazing,” said Karen Roessler, Lenihan ELP teacher and FLL coach. “They spent many hours outside the school day preparing for this rigorous competition.”

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