The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 5, 2013

Students build toward learning


“Overall we all have the same theme, but each team comes up with its own thoughts and ideas,” Lego League adviser and School Board President Dan Portz said. “Nature’s Fury is the overall subject, and our issue is with flooding. So our idea is putting GPS systems on buoys on the river as opposed to the dams.”

To help them understand the complex nature of the river and the dangers of flooding, the River Bend Riptides invited Maren Stoflet, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service hydrologist, to visit their school and learn all about their FLL project.

In turn, the Riptides will use that information in their project to develop a way to provide more data and accuracy to help forecasters better record and project river levels on the Mississippi River.

“We’re pretty excited to move this forward,” Portz said. “All the technology for what we’ve come up with exists, and I think that’s what everybody is so excited about. The possibility of it happening in real life is becoming a reality.”

The River Bend FLL team will participate in its qualifying tournament on Saturday at the John Deere Middle School in Moline, Ill., with the hopes of advancing in the competition for an opportunity to compete against teams from across the world.

As both teams prepare for the FLL competition, emotions are high and the students are beginning to feel excited and nervous for the big reveal.

“It’s been hard,” Camanche fourth-grader Danika Dodson said. “But we know that it’s more important to learn than to win.”

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