Miller Lego team receives award at state contest


The Miller Middle School Lego League team received an honorable mention award at the state contest on January 15. Pictured are, from left, coach Ann Jackson, Lilly Duff, Marcus Barker, Marek Jablonski, Maggie Stansberry, Ethan Benscoter, Derek Peng,  Isaac B. Lopez and Jacob Swartz.

Miller Middle School’s Lego League team, the Robocats, travelled to Iowa State University to compete against 60 other teams from across Iowa at the State Lego League Championships on January 15.

The Robocats brought home an honorable mention award in robot design for their unique innovation and impressive strategy executed in the robot game. The team includes Lilly Duff, Marcus Barker, Marek Jablonski, Maggie Stansberry, Ethan Benscoter, Derek Peng, Isaac B. Lopez and Jacob Swartz.


The team is coached by Miller Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson.

A parent-led team made up of Miller and Lenihan Intermerdiate School students also competed at state. That team, known as Medieval Gamer Puppies, was coached by Amanda and Travis Bloomquist and featured team members Quinton Lacey (Miller), Kaiden McWilliams (Lenihan), Taylor Vaughn (Lenihan) and Locke Bloomquist (Lenihan).
“The state championship was a great experience for the team,” Amanda Blomquist said.  “They were able to show off the progress they made since the regional tournament and had a fun time.”

FIRST Lego League is a competition in which students design, build, and program an autonomous robot to compete on a table-top playing field. In addition, students research a real-world problem, this year animal and human interaction, and are challenged to develop a solution. Along their journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills. Students also learn about and apply the program’s core values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship. There are over 32,000 First Lego League teams in 88 countries in the world.


Medieval Gamer Puppies at State Lego included, from left, Kaiden McWilliams, Quinton Lacey, Locke Bloomquist and Taylor Vaughn.