NKN FIRST LEGO League team impresses judges

Neah-Kah-Nie (NKN) Middle School’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) rookie team is back after a strong showing at a qualifying tournament in Hillsboro on Dec. 3.

FLL is a competition that introduces a scientific and real-world challenge for teams to research. The robotics part of the competition involves designing and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots to complete tasks. The students work out solutions to the various problems they are given and then meet for regional tournaments to share their knowledge, compare ideas and display their robots.

Front Row: Izzy Foster, Damaris Reyes Avalos, Mei Shiomi, Russell Burns. Back Row: Chloe Gingerich, Kyla Clark, Jasper Hartford, Bella Carrillo, Tatum Honts, Auggie Gingerich, Coach Kathryn Harmo

The NKN middle-schoolers joined teams from the Portland area, Jewell and Seaside to compete in three areas of competition: three trials on a performance field, a project presentation of original research with a solution, and exhibiting the CORE values of First Lego League.

Ten 7th and 8th grade NKN students formed a team called I4IGM, or Institute for Idea Generation & Manufacturing. Their project presentation, entitled Re-MOOving Methane, on how to reduce methane pollution in the dairy industry received a score of ‘exemplary’ for the solution and sharing of their project.

“While the team did not qualify for the state competition in January, the kids are pleased with their performance for their rookie year and are excited to participate again next year,” said Kathryn Harmon, I4IGM coach and school media specialist.

She added the team is grateful for their sponsors, the Mudd-Nick Foundation and the Oregon Department of Education, as well as the groups other coach, Nan Ryder, and high school mentor, Wade Becker.