The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

April 10, 2014

A worldwide honor

CAMANCHE — In their first year of competition, the Camanche Elementary School Jr. LEGO League team has accomplished more than they ever imagined, capping off the season with a worldwide honor.

The six students of Sheryl Kennedy’s Jr. LEGO League team will join 39 other teams from around the world on April 24 in St. Louis, Mo., for the 2014 Jr. FIRST LEGO League World Festival Expo.

”They are expecting around 10,000 students to participate in the competition,” Kennedy said. “And we are the only team from Iowa in our age division so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids.”

While the students are thrilled with the opportunity to compete against students across the world, the road to the expo hasn’t been the easiest one to traverse.

Kennedy’s team, the Disaster Masters, first had to compete in the regional competition against several other teams in their third-grade division in Davenport. They were selected by a team of judges as one of the top competitors of the regional tournament and became one of the teams entered into the World Expo lottery.

With a stroke of luck, the Camanche Disaster Masters were chosen to represent the state of Iowa, topping teams from Iowa City and Des Moines, to join 34 other state teams, one team from Canada and six teams from China.

”Certain states are selected to send a team to the expo and this year Iowa was one of those states,” Kennedy said. “We could have made it all the way through the regional competition and into the lottery but still wouldn’t have been able to go if it wasn’t Iowa’s turn. So, it’s really lucky that in our first year as a team we were not only able to make it this far, but that Iowa was one of the states that was able to send a team.”

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