Brain Breakers go to state

The "Brain Breakers" Lego Robotics club from John Day shows off their medals from their first experience competing at the state level, at the State First Lego League contest Jan. 16 in Hillsboro. In back, coach Shannon Springer; middle row, from left, Aimee Brandon, Blake Stone, Nick Springer, Emily Springer, Duane Stokes and Nathaniel Hobson; front, Sam Bentz.

HILLSBORO – The John Day 4-H Lego Robotics club, “Brain Breakers,” competed for the first time at the State First Lego League (FLL) contest Jan. 16 in Hillsboro.

The club presented research and innovative solutions on “How Nanobots can assist in diagnosing and treating allergies” to the judges, while parents watched nearby. 

The “Brain Breakers” – Blake Stone, Nick Springer, Emily Springer, Duane Stokes, Nathaniel Hobson, Aimee Brandon and Sam Bentz – also had to present their robot and their four programs to the judges. They had to defend why they built the robot and programmed it the way they did to complete the missions.

They didn’t place, but did beat their regional mission score by 40 points.

Duane’s father, Kelly Stokes, said, “I do not know that I could have answered as well as the club did.”

Leader Maxine Day said that the group faced one difficult situation in which a judge at first made an error in a ruling and later corrected the mistake. 

Both Day and co-leader Shannon Springer stated, “We’re very proud of how the club members participated and made improvements for state competition.”

The club is seeking an adult to take the place of Springer, who is in her last year as a robotic Lego coach. Anyone interested in co-leading the group should call the Grant County OSU Extension office at 541-575-1911. 

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