AMES — The Cedar Valley will be well represented Saturday and Sunday during the FIRST Lego League state championships at Iowa State University.
Eighteen teams from Waterloo, Cedar Falls and across Northeast Iowa advanced to the event after participating in various regional qualifiers, among about 120 from across the state. Lego League involves teams of up to 10 9- to 14-year-olds guided by teachers or other adult mentors who build and program Lego Mindstorms robots. The groups are often associated with schools.
Following are the participating Northeast Iowa teams by city and name:
Allison — Butler County Brick by Brick; Cedar Falls — Pixelated Pigs, Space Tex, Team Aether; Decorah — The Milky Ways; Denver — Robo Sisters, Val-Edictorians; Elgin — NFV Mission Masters; Gilbertville — Super LEGO Frogs; Hudson — Legacy 6.0, Pirates of the Milkyway; Nora Springs — Lightyear Locators, Yo’ Gamma Gamma; Waterloo — Bionic Bandits, BMAP Saints, Lego Ninjas, RoboDuckies, Galaxy Striders.
Teams work on a challenge to solve a real-world problem related to a theme, which is the space-oriented “Into Orbit” 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.
Spectators are welcome at the event, which starts at 9 a.m. each day. More information on schedules and location is available online at https://www.isek.iastate.edu/fll/iowa-championship.