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Lego League honors go to Marshalltown teams

January 19, 2011

A Marshalltown Lego League team took home top honors out of 72 teams at the state tournament held at Iowa State University last weekend and one other team from town was not too far behind.

The Brick Burners, which is made up of seven home-schooled students and two public school students, continued a tradition in Marshalltown with their championship at the tournament.

"The kids worked hard and it paid off this year," said Grant Jacobson, one of the coaches of the team. "I am extremely proud of the dedication and hard work the team put into earning this achievement."

Article Photos

The Brick Burners team from Marshalltown won the state championship at the First Lego League tournament last weekend in Ames. Team members include, front row, from left, David Blom, Alex Weidenaar, Shane Jacobson and Jack Kester. Back row, Elliot Weidenaar, Zane Hala, Matthew Battles, Andrew Ash and Daniel Blom.

The Brick Burners include team members Daniel Blom, Matthew Battles, Zane Hala, David Blom, Jack Kester, Shane Jacobson, Elliot Weidenaar, Andrew Ash and Alex Weidenaar. Brad Weidenaar coaches the team along with Jacobson.

The First Lego League is a competition of four events - robotics performance, robot programming and design, FLL core values and research presentations. It is for students ages nine to 14 and 400 teams started at regional competitions which were narrowed down to 72 state qualifiers. This year's theme was "Body Forward" as teams explored the use of biomedical engineering to help make people healthier.

Two other Marshalltown teams did well at the state tournament as the NEM JJ Biomedics team (Lenihan Intermediate School sixth graders) placed second to the Brick Burners for the Champions award and the team called Technic Medics 5 (Lenihan fifth graders) placed first in robot programming and design.

The NEM JJ Biomedics team includes Mary Margaret Drummer, Juliana Osgood, Jake Streeter, Nick Summers and Ethan Thill. The Technic Medics 5 team includes Joshua Arment, Lucas Duff, Maggie Grimm, Jill Podhajsky and Martin Runquist.

Karen Roessler, extended learning teacher at Lenihan Intermediate School and one of the coaches of the two Lenihan teams, was proud of the accomplishments of the teams.

"The dedication of these young students and their enthusiasm toward learning is amazing," she said. "They spent many hours outside the school day preparing for this rigorous competition."

This year Iowa is not a state which advances a team to the world competition as it is on a rotating schedule, so the Brick Burners will not be heading to that event.


Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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