By Angela Stigeler
Special to the Caledonia Argus
Caledonia’s fledgling Jr. FIRST Lego League, known as JrFLL, spread its wings recently by entering three young teams in the Lego League exhibition at Willow Creek Middle School in Rochester.
On Jan. 11, these teams of students ages 6-9 went to show the projects they’ve been working on since October. Twenty other junior-level teams from around the state were there, which gave the Caledonia Lego Warriors a great opportunity to view the projects of their peers.
This year’s theme, Disaster Blaster, opened the way for students to research all realms of natural disasters and to come up with solutions and methods of preparedness for everything from hurricanes to tornadoes to tsunami. The JrFLL teams not only showcase their research and ideas on poster boards, they also learn basics of science and engineering as they turn their ideas into models built with Legos. These projects highlight the innovation and creativity the students find as they learn to work together in teams.
The expo also gave Caledonia’s Lego Warriors an opportunity to practice expressing their ideas directly to their judges, who came around to each team, asking questions of the students and examining their displays. At the end of the judging, the teams were all presented with participation medals and the Caledonia Lego Warriors earned the following awards:
Lego Warriors Team 1: August Allen, Styrk Myhre, Landon Snodgrass, Laurent Stigeler and Noah Stigeler, coached by Sheri Allen, earned the Construction Innovation Award.
Lego Warriors Team 2: Tristan Augedahl, Tucker Ginther, Connor Klug, Cameron Kruse and Kennedy Kruse, coached by Melissa Augedahl, earned the Teamwork Award.
Lego Warrior Team 3: Campbell Cognac, Emelia Kittleson, Alijah Marschall and Alex Piccatasi, coached by Jay Marschall, earned the Complexity and Decoration Award.
The students will be pleased to show their projects and awards to the public at the upcoming elementary school science fair this March. The volunteers coordinating this Community Education-sponsored program are hoping this will generate additional interest in the program.
As the current teams advance to the next level of the FIRST Lego League — a Lego robotics competition — they are hoping to get more of the community involved. The Lego Warriors were able to watch some of the older teams compete in Rochester and are already getting geared up for the next level in learning, engineering and fun!
If you have an interest in helping to coach a team or getting involved in another way please feel free to contact the Community Education Office.