Lenihan FIRST LEGO League team wins regionals

Front (L to R): Martin Runquist, Maggie Grimm, Joseph Anguiano. Back: Jill Podhajsky, Joshua Arment, Lucas Duff

Lenihan’s FIRST LEGO League team took the overall championship at the regional contest held Saturday, Dec. 10, at Marshalltown Community College. The win advances the team to the state competition Jan. 14, 2012, at Iowa State University.

Lenihan’s Extended Learning Program team won the overall Championship, in a field of 32 Central Iowa teams, by earning the highest combined scores in all four competition categories:  Robot Challenge, Technical Interview, Research Presentation, and FLL Core Values.  Members of Team Mu are sixth graders: Joseph Anguiano, Joshua Arment, Lucas Duff, Maggie Grimm, Jill Podhajsky, and Martin Runquist.

The 2011-2012 FLL theme is “Food Factor”. Throughout the fall semester, the team has researched milk production and possible bacterial contamination points.  Based on this research, the students wrote a project presentation, designed an innovative solution to the contamination problem, and compiled an annotated bibliography of their research sources.

Work on the robot challenge included completing advanced programming tutorials, constructing three robot prototypes and their final robot design, and programming multiple missions using LEGO MINDSTORM software. The students incorporated a light sensor and ultrasonic sensor to input data for an autonomous program as well as utilized a third motor to operate their forklift, fishing net, catch basin, and bumper attachments.

The team will face 72 qualifying teams Jan. 14 at the ISU College of Engineering. More than 200 teams competed at regional competitions across the state.