Quad Cities FIRST LEGO League Challenge Kickoff, Sat, September 24, 2022

Last Update (22Sep22 – 7:36 AM):   

FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams from Iowa and Illinois including students, coaches and mentors are cordially invited to attend this FREE Kickoff.  

The Quad Cities Engineering & Science Council (QCESC) is excited to support the 8th Quad Cities FIRST LEGO League Challenge Kickoff!  After a two year pause with COVID, the event is back hosted by our long term partner, the Putnam Musuem & Science Center in Davenport, Iowa.   Our very special guest will be Kim Wierman, the FIRST Senior Global Director for FIRST LEGO League!  In addition, the FIRST LEGO League Challenge  Program Delivery Partners for the State of Iowa with Yamille Perez and State of Illinois with Sara Lubic plan to attend and support.  

The Kickoff provides a fun, interactive way to meet other teams,  learn together with energy experts and share key FIRST LEGO League information.  

Our keynote speaker will be from Dr. Syed Mubeen, PhD  speaking on “Energy Infrastructure – Past, Present, and Future” .  Dr. Mubeen is the Director of Syed Mubeen Research Group and Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa.   On January 10, 2022 Dr. Mubeen was named at the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for SunHydrogen, Inc. (OTC:HYSR), the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water.

The event will also provide the opportunity to see and learn about all of the FIRST programs supporting students age 4-18 including: FIRST LEGO League Discover (age 4-6), FIRST LEGO League Explore (age 6-10), FIRST LEGO League Challenge (age 9-14), FIRST Tech Challenge (age 12-18) and FIRST Robotics Competition (age 14-18).  

The kickoff will include:

  • Opening session with keynote speaker on this year’s challenge, information on Iowa and Illinois qualifiers, and our very special guest Kim Wierman, FIRST LEGO League Program Director from FIRST Headquarters! 
  • FIRST LEGO League Challenge field with head referees to help demonstrate and answer questions.
  • Session for coaches and mentors which is particularly helpful for new volunteers. 
  • Table top displays with Innovation Project Challenge experts to learn and explore where energy comes from and how it is distributed, stored, and used. With this knowledge, teams can then identify a specific problem, develop new, innovative ways to rethink and improve how energy is generated and used.
  • Displays from from all FIRST programs including FIRST LEGO League Discover, FIRST LEGO League Explore, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition.
  • Breakout sessions on Innovation Project, Core Values, Programming, and Strategy, Locomotion and Navigation.
  • Closing session with panel of FIRST alumni sharing the impacts of FIRST on their education and career pathways.  

To help ensure we have adequate space and materials, all FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams (students, coaches, mentors and parents), event volunteers, and people supporting Kickoff displays must pre-register and provide signed consent forms when checking in as outlined below.

Event Date & Time:
Saturday, September 24, 2022
8:00 AM – 12:45 PM (see detailed schedule below)

Putnam Musuem & Science Center 
1717 W. 12th Street
Davenport, Iowa  

Links to sign-up to attend as a team, volunteer or have a display – which are all FREE:

Consent & Release Forms:
A signed QCESC consent form must be provided at check in for all attendees.  This includes teams (students, coaches, and mentors) along with event professionals, volunteers and speakers. For students who are minors (less than 18 years old), the consent form must be signed by one of their parent or guardians.

Link to a blank QCESC consent form which will also be available at the check-in table. (updated 22Sep22)

While we encourage teams to attend the entire event, you may attend whatever portion your schedule allows.  A recommended strategy is to have your team divide up so you can attend each of the breakout sessions.  The 8:30 AM Opening is highly recommended for all teams.

As part of the opening session, we will:

  • Introduce Each Team in Attendance
  • Discuss Key Resources Available to Teams
  • Keynote Speaker(s) On SUPERPOWERED Innovation Project Challenge 
  • Review FIRST LEGO League Qualifier Registration Process for Iowa & Illinois teams

Schedule (subject to updates):

Breakout Session Presenters:

Innovation Project: Insights on the research project and global innovation award including related items for judge interview 
Lead:  Members of FIRST LEGO League Challenge Team #7885 – SwagHats from Des Moines area. They were 1 of 20 teams finalist who competed at the Global Innovation Awards in St. Louis in Jun22.

Strategy, Locomotion, Navigation:   Insights on strategy, locomotion and navigation including on robot design items with judge interviews. 
Lead:  Members of FIRST Robotics Competition Team #3928, Team Neutrino from Ames with 33% of team coming from FIRST LEGO League teams with 50% of team leaders female.  In 2022, they received the Engineering Inspiration award at the FIRST World Championship in Houston.  The children’s TV STEAM show series they produced was recently released here 

Core Values: Insights on core values including for relate items for judge interviews.
Lead:  Members of the FIRST Tech Challenge Team #8813, The Winter Soldiers from Bettendorf, Iowa  Five consecutive year winner of State of Iowa FTC Championship with Inspire Award and 2022 Finalist for Connect Award at FIRST World Championship Houston.  

EV3 Programming: Hands-on overview of LEGO Mindstorms SPIKE Prime & EV3 programming
Lead:  Aaron Maurer, FIRST Certified Trainer, LEGO Master Educator, Microsoft Innovative Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor









FIRST Progression of Program On Display:

FIRST LEGO League Discover demo:
Lead: Camanche School District with Sheryl Kennedy long time FIRST LEGO League coach and 2021 Iowa Southeast Iowa STEM Teacher of the Year and 2017 QCESC STEM of the Year.

FIRST LEGO League Explore demo:
Lead: Members of FIRST Tech Challenge Team #12863 Flourish & Bots from Bettendorf.  Previous FIRST LEGO League participates 

FIRST Tech Challenge demo:
Lead:  Members of the FIRST Tech Challenge Team #8813, The Winter Soldiers from Bettendorf, Iowa  Five consecutive year winner of State of Iowa FTC Championship with Inspire Award and 2022 Finalist for Connect Award at FIRST World Championship Houston.  

FIRST Robotics Competition demo:
Lead:  Members of FIRST Robotics Competition Team #648 – QC ELITE – Flaming Squirrels from Bettendorf, Iowa.  One of the oldest FIRST teams in the area started in 2001.  

List of Registered Innovation Project Challenge Experts with Displays (as of 19Sep22 7:06 PM):  

  • MidAmerican Energy Company 
  • Constellation Energy Corporation (Quad City Nuclear Power Station)
  • Iowa State University Solar Car 
  • Tesla Model 3 all electric car. 
  • Southeast Iowa STEM 

Registered Teams (as of 22Sep22 – 10:00 PM) 

2022 Quad Cities FLL Kickoff Planning Team:

  • Pat Barnes
  • Susan Eckert
  • Nama Ganesh 
  • Leslie Klipsch
  • Steve Mielenhausen
  • Rachael Mullins 
  • Sanchia Horst Sommer 
  • Beth Ullmark

Key FLL Challenge Resources