The Burt County 4-H Mindstormers are headed to state after placing among the top 5 teams in a FIRST Lego League robotics qualifying tournament held last week in South Sioux City.
The Mindstormers will compete in the state championship Feb. 22 in Ashland.
The tournaments give youth, ages 9-14, the opportunity to display their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in a fun, sports-like environment.
Mindstormers team members are Michael Bracht, West Point; Lucas Niewohner, Herman; Amelia and Caleb Schlichting, Lyons, and Jacob Unwin, Oakland. Adult leaders are Tricia Bracht and Scott Niewohner.
Each year, FIRST presents a challenge for youth to come up with real world solutions. This year’s challenge was to address “Nature’s Fury.”
The youths had to pick a natural disaster, identify a problem and come up with a solution – either protecting or in clean up and rebuilding after a natural disaster strikes. The Mindstormers chose a tornado.
Getting these young robot engineers to think beyond using a robot to clean up after the tornado and consider the value of rescuing people and animals as a higher priority was the first hurdle.
The competition consists of four portions: The robot game, the project, core values, and robot design.
For the full story, pick up the February 5 West Point News, or call 372-2461 to subscribe.