AFTON – The Union County 4-H Clover Kids program recently had three teams participate in a LEGO League Showcase event held June 3 in Afton. The members of the LEGO League program had been working hard since March to build their motorized LEGO models around the state-wide theme called “Creature Craze.”
The theme was centered on learning about different animals’ habitats and how honey bees can live in the same environments as those animals. Members started off the season by learning about honey bees from guest speaker Jason Driskill. Driskill shared the importance of honey bees in the environments and how the bees make honey for the hive. The end goal of the LEGO League program was to build a LEGO model with at least one motorized part that shows how an animal can live alongside another all while keeping the model within a 15 inch X 15 inch square. Members also designed a display board to complete their work that included pictures, steps of their process and drawings of their models.
The LEGO League Showcase in Afton consisted of four teams, three from Union County and one from the Johnston area, and was judged on a non-competitive basis. Teams had the opportunity to share their models and displays with judges as well as the public during a two-hour period. Guest judges for the event included Dee Weeda, Sharon Gardner and Marc Patten. Awards and medals were presented to each team to conclude the showcase event. Chocolate milk, ice cream and cheese sticks were donated for the event by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance.
Union County Extension received three grants from the Iowa State University College of Engineering and John Deere this past winter to help fund the LEGO leagues. Additional funding was received in the form of donations from the Leonard and Gail Feld family, who has been a generous contributor to the Union County LEGO League program for the past two years.
In order to participate in this particular LEGO League program, participants had to be members of a Union County Clover Kid program which is made up of kindergarten through third graders. The 20 members were divided into three teams based on age and each team was led by a coach.
Members of the green team, “Cool Owls” were coached by Haley Jones and won the “Artistic Eye” award. They were Makenna Dresback, Jarrett Pingree, Saniyah Lott, Hennessie Bierle, Cooper Parsons, Katy Gennaro and Foxx Haley .
Members of the yellow team, “Bee Squad,” were coached by Sarah Long and won the “Outstanding Teamwork” award. They included Emma Gennaro, Brock Driskill, Maria Long, Candace Zollman, Lehydn Dresback and Connor Briner.