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Brianna DeGroote, 11, works on her team’s Lego robot Tuesday at Hansen Elementary in Cedar Falls.

AMES — Twenty teams from across Northeast Iowa will compete Saturday and Sunday during the FIRST Lego League state championships at Iowa State University.

The teams of 9- to 14-year-olds advanced after participating in various regional qualifiers, among about 120 from across the state. Lego League involves teams of up to 10 children guided by teachers or other adult mentors who build and program Lego Mindstorms robots.

Teams work on a challenge to solve a real-world problem related to a theme, which is “Hydro Dynamics” this year. They complete tasks that follow the theme in tabletop matches using the robots.

Scores are determined by how many missions are completed as well as by presentations on the theme teams make to a panel of judges.

An ability to work together and demonstrate they are upholding FIRST’s core values also are important.

FIRST is the guiding organization that puts together the annual challenges. Its name is an acronym of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

Many teams are organized through schools. Following are the list of Northeast Iowa teams by city and name:

Calmar—CFS Raiders Black; Cedar Falls—the Brick Bots, Stingray City, Shark Sharpedos, Aqua Infinity, The Evaporators and Speedsters; Decorah—61 % and Rapid Rangers; Denver—Robo Sisters; Elgin—NFV Mission Masters; Evansdale—Poyner Aquabots; Gilbertville—Super Lego Frogs; Nora Springs—Call the Plumber; La Porte City—Union Pipe Cleaners; Traer—Robo Redhawks; Waterloo—Bionic Bandits, Bricks of Brilliance, Lego Ninjas and Girls Only.

Spectators are welcome at the event, which starts at 9 a.m. each day.

More information on schedules and location plus a link to watch matches live online is available at


Waterloo Schools / HCC Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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