Lego League students show project to Noon Optimists

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Lenihan Lego League students perform their puppet show presentation on building stronger structures to withstand tornado winds to the Marshalltown Noon Optimist Club. Pictured, from left: Josue Corral Coronado, Gavin Staker, Jaeger Purchase, Levi Bell and Thaw Ta Soe.

The Lenihan Intermediate School Lego League team – the City Shaping Robot Bananas – presented their project presentation and programming to the Marshalltown Noon Optimist Club this week. 

The FIRST Lego League’s theme for the year is city shaping, which includes finding ways to make cities and communities more sustainable. The students’ goal is to define a problem that is local to their community, create an innovative solution or improve upon an existing solution to the problem, and then present their research as a part of their competition. 

The City Shaping Robot Bananas selected the problem of a lack of structures that can withstand the winds of a tornado. Their solution was to build a large concrete structure that could be a community tornado safety area as well as double up as a homeless shelter, which would be a potential solution to another problem in our community. Their description of the solution was presented in the form of a humorous puppet show.

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The students showed off their creativity and engineering skills as they had a robot complete several tasks on a table full of Lego obstacles. Pictured, from left: Jaden Schwartz, Nicholas Wise, Thaw Ta Soe and Matthew Bradley.

“The Noon Optimist Club have been fantastic supporters of our program. We really appreciate having them as our test audience so the students know what needs some polishing before we go to competition,” said Lenihan Extended Learning Program instructor Vanessa Engel. “The group is always so supportive and it really helps build the kids’ confidence.” 

The students have enjoyed the challenge and fun brought by the project.
“I think it’s cool doing research to solve a real problem.  It makes this really interesting,” said Lenihan student Zane Moore.

Zane and classmates Levi Bell, Jaden Schwartz, Josue Corral Coronado, Aidan Boozell, Thaw Ta Soe, Gavin Stake, Jaeger Purchase, Nicholas Wise, and Matthew Bradley will take part in the FIRST Lego League competition at Marshalltown High School Dec. 14.