Area Youth Recognized at FIRST ® LEGO® League Nebraska Championship

March 7, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. — More than 2,800 spectators cheered on contestants, ages nine to 14, at the annual FIRST® LEGO® League Nebraska Championship at the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland.

The Eternal Flame, a 4-H robotics team from Lincoln, won the first place champion's award.

The second place champion's award went to team NXT Generation, from Omaha. The top teams won by embodying FLL values of teamwork and mutual respect while achieving excellence and innovation in both the robot game and innovation project.

FIRST LEGO League is an international program for nine to 16 year-old children (9 to 14 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills.

Children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project.

This year's Challenge – "NATURE'S FURYSM" – called for teams to research and present their own creative solutions to one of today's most relevant topics: natural disasters.

The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork, with a consideration of the FLL Core Values.

Championship tournament awards include:

Mechanical Design – Thunderstruck, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Programming – Terminators, Fort Calhoun

Strategy & Innovation – Clutch Magic, Lincoln

Robot Performance – NXT Generation, Omaha

Research – The Dewds, Pawnee City

Innovative Solution – Morton Panther Pack, Omaha

Presentation – Golden Bots, Bellevue

Inspiration – Patriot Rovers 4, Papillion

Teamwork – Irving Rec Center Aardbots 1, Lincoln

Gracious Professionalism® – Robo Storm, Lincoln

Judges Award – Fern FURY, Lincoln

Against All Odds – EF6 Tornadoes, Mead

Rising Star – Bellevue Elementary Robotics, Bellevue

Outstanding Volunteer Award – Jonathan Krutz, Omaha  

Adult Coach/Mentor Award – Kathy Niedbalski, Kearney

First Place – The Eternal Flame, Lincoln

Second Place – NXT Generation, Omaha

Third Place – Data Dragons, Omaha                                     

Sponsors for this weekend's Nebraska Championship Tournament include the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, Strategic Air & Space Museum, Union Pacific, OPPD and NASA Nebraska Space Grant.

Kate Pittack
Educational Engagement Coordinator
UNL Extension

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service