Dallas County Machine Magicians 4-H competed in the State First Lego League tournament held at Iowa State University Jan. 14. The club won second place for their Project Innovative Solution. The competition consisted of 60 teams of 9- to 14- year olds that have advanced from regional competitions from around Iowa. They also competed in the Global Innovation Award presentations.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international program, created by FIRST® and LEGO® , designed to get children interested in and excited about science, technology and engineering.

This year’s theme was hydro dynamics. Teams each had to identify a water problem, research it, design a solution and share their ideas with competition judges.

The teams were also evaluated on their LEGO robot’s performance and design, a research presentation and team interviews on design and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) core values.

Their project is called Stop Drop, it is an app that connects with a flow meter device placed on waterlines throughout your house. The app shows how much water you are using right to your smart phone. It also has a mini game with water conservation facts. Its main application is for household use to monitor usage or leaky toilets/pipes. Another use is monitoring filling water tanks in an agricultural setting.

“The kids got the idea for the project from all the fitness trackers out there that track your steps, this tracks your water usage. The more you know the more you can do! ” said Rebecca Smith the club leader.

The Magician Magicians team consist of nine youth from the Adel area. They have been practicing for four months to prepare for competition.