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First Lego League gives young engineers thrills

December 17, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Remember the days when smart kids were the ones with the pocket protectors filled with pens (and maybe even a slide rule), wearing black horn rim glasses and who wore white socks with black shoes?

Well, those days are over. In fact, smart kids are the cool kids.

That was the message when teams from throughout the region gathered for the First Lego League regional competition Saturday at the Iowa Lakes Community College gym. One of six STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) sites designated in Iowa through Gov. Branstad's STEM initiative, Iowa Lakes had the honor of hosting the competition that included teams from Spirit Lake and Spencer.

Article Photos

Austin Thoreson and Alden Taylor of the Spirit Lake Techno Indians got their robot ready to compete. Lego League competitors programmed their robots to perform a variety of tasks which were put to a test on a challenge course.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

"We're here today because we believe science, technology, engineering and math are the wave of the future," said Kari Webb, Iowa Lakes STEM coordinator. "First we're going to play. Second we're going to play with purpose. Thirdly, we're going to play with passion."

Webb thanked Iowa Lakes and its employees who had donned yellow shirts to help out. Calling the state's $2.7 appropriation "probably one of the most landmark efforts in the nation," Webb said the results of STEM were only possible because of coaches, teachers and leaders.



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