Rocket Day 2019

Happy 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!!! We are hosting a free event at the soccer fields next to the Story County Fairgrounds from 2:00-5:00 today.

Due to forecasted rain, here is the revised schedule:

2:00-3:00 Build and launch your own straw rockets, paper rockets, and bottle rockets

3:00-4:00 Enter to win the chance to launch one of our model rockets

4:00-5:00 Build and launch your own straw rockets, paper rockets, and bottle rockets

We hope to see you there! Watch our Twitter/Instagram @frcneutrino for updates!

Story County 4-H Press Release

Revving Robots – not your Mom & Dad’s 4-H Club!

Robots, friends, and fun. These 3 things are at the core of Story County 4-H’s three FIRST Robotics programs. The 3 programs accommodate 4-H youth ages 9-18, and there is a little something for everyone on one of these teams.

FIRST Lego League (FLL) is an enthusiastic group of 4-Hers ages 9-12, and their season runs throughout the Fall. Along with building and programming a robot for the game challenge, the team must also show how they work together as a team, and then research and present a special project for the judges at their competition. The “challenge” or theme changes every year, and this year it was called “Nature’s Fury” and related to natural disasters. They competed at a regional tournament in Maxwell in December, and the State Tournament at ISU in January. The theme for this coming Fall’s challenge has been released already and it is called “World Class Challenge”, which focuses on new ways kids need and want to learn in the 21st century. The leader and contact for 4-H FLL in Story County is Andy Terry.

The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics club team #7491, the Honey Badgers, is currently made up of 9 members ages 12-18. This group meets weekly during their build season in the Fall, and then monthly after that. Their challenge this past season was “Block Party” and they had to build a robot that could carry 2” square blocks around a 12’ x 12’ field to score points in the appropriate score zones. The team also completed an engineering notebook and had a team interview with judges as part of their competition. This year the Honey Badgers competed in two FTC tournaments, the John Deere Financial tournament in Johnston, and the Kennedy Invitational tournament in Cedar Rapids. It was a wonderful learning year for this rookie team, and the members are excited to start the new season off this September using what they learned from last year’s challenge. The team has been fortunate to recently receive a state STEM Scale-Up grant to help fund a playing tournament field, which they are excited to use for upcoming scrimmages and tournaments! Leaders and contacts for the FTC team are Jane Runneals, Charlotte Hippen, and James and Kate Borton.

The First Robotics Challenge (FRC) team, Team Neutrino, started in 2012 at Ames High School. They just recently completed their third season. This team currently consists of 15 high school students from Ames, Ballard, and surrounding area, as well as ISU, professional, and parent mentors.

This season, the team learned more about the process of designing, building, programming and testing a robot. This year’s game, called Aerial Assist, had teams build a robot that had to pass a 2 foot diameter exercise ball to other robots and then shoot it into goal on the opposite side of the field.

Team Neutrino is actively involved in outreach and spreading the message of FIRST to our communities. Team Neutrino aims to have a positive impact in the community and to get kids excited about STEM. The team participates in various demonstrations and activities such as: Summer Classes, STEM day at the state capitol, and demonstrations at the Science Center of Iowa, and the County and State fair.

The team competed at two regionals this past spring. At Kansas City, they were ranked 9th overall, and were quarterfinalists in the elimination rounds. At Minnesota North Star, they were ranked 12th overall, and were quarterfinalists in the elimination rounds. The team was also a gracious recipient of the Engineering Inspiration award, which earned them a ticket to the FRC World Championships in St. Louis! There, Neutrino played in the Newton division, and was selected to be on the 4th seed alliance, where they competed into the semifinals.

Overall, Team Neutrino had a very successful 3rd season, and everyone is looking forward to next year! Thanks to all our excellent mentors and leaders, this team hopes to be involved as a proud part of Story County 4-H for years to come! Neutrino’s team parent leader is James Devig.

More information about FIRST can be found at:

And information about Story County 4-H’s FIRST Robotics teams can be had by contacting Mary Wilkins at Story County 4-H: [email protected]

FIRST Championships 2014

The four division fieldsTeam Neutrino was elated to compete in this year’s FIRST Championships. All four FIRST programs were present, including Jr. FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC. It was a very exciting event, as you can imagine, with more than 600 teams from 38 countries packed into the Georgia Dome in St. Louis, MO.

The team drove down on Wednesday morning, arriving just in time to assemble the robot and do our pit scouting. It was amazing to see what all the FRC teams had come up with! Then we had dinner and checked into our hotel.
Team Neutrino's robot
On Thursday, we woke up bright and early so we could get to the dome for the start of qualification matches. (We were in the very first match of the day!) Our team had a win/loss record of 4-1-0. Friday was also qualification matches, and our record at the end of the day was 6-3-0.

Team Picture

Saturday was an awesome end to our trip!! We started out by loosing our last qualification match, but during alliance selection, we were picked to be the 4th robot on the 4th seed alliance (on Newton)! It was great to be able to play with Team Titanium, Team Kiki Mana, and S.W.A.T.! Sadly, during elimination rounds, Team Titanium’s drive train was unable to be fixed, and so we had to substitute our robot in during the semifinals. Our alliance lost to the 1st seed,
but won in the second match, forcing a tiebreaker round!! We ended up being semifinalists on the Newton field (similar to the Sweet 16 in March Madness). Then we packed up and went to the other sideElimination drive team of the dome to watch the Einstein matches. Congratulations to team 27 for winning the global Chairman’s award, and to teams 1678, 1114, 1640, and 5136 for representing Newton field in the final matches! Also, congratulations to teams 254, 469, 2848, and 74 for winning the competition.

It was nice to be able to relax on the ride home and finally get some sleep. Thank you to all who helped put the event together and making it a week we’ll all remember for years to come!

Minnesota North Star Regional


Awesome job to everyone who helped set this event up, and to all the members and mentors who attended! It was so exciting to be able to compete with the teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa!

On Wednesday, we drove up to the house we were staying at and checked in the robot. Thursday we set up the pit, put the robot together with its new arm, and pit scouted the other teams. We were also able to do a couple practice matches, and the team went to Annie’s parlor for a team dinner!

On Friday, we competed in eight qualification matches, seven of which we won. This placed us as the fourth highest ranked team, and first for OPR! We were thankful to be able to scout with team 2175 so we could get information about each team. You can find the results here for the event: (1)

All of us will remember Saturday for years to come! We only won one of our three matches that morning, but we were picked to be on the second seed alliance. It was great to work with teams 4244 and 2169! Our team ended up being quarterfinalists in the elimination rounds, and this ended our chance to go to Championships in April. Or so we thought…

Team Neutrino was the recipient of the MN North Star Engineering Inspiration award! This award means that NASA will pay for our registration so that we can attend champs along with over 400 other teams. Good luck to all who are going!13532248164_b1b8d76b7b_b (1)

Thanks to all who stayed updated on Twitter and the Blue Alliance. We will get more information to you later so you can stay updated during Champs!

Greater Kansas City Regional


Great job to all the team members and mentors who attended this exciting event!! Thank you to all of the sponsors who donated money and supplies so that this could be possible. We couldn’t have done this without YOU!


We got to Kansas City on Wednesday night to check into our hotel and to bring the robot in. Thursday morning we drove to the arena, set up the pit, and put the robot together. Then we got to pit scout and do some practice matches. Shout out to Team 4646 for a wonderful dinner on Thursday night! It was great to be able to meet your team.

On Friday we had eight qualification matches. You can see the outcomes of those here: We won all but one, and this placed us in seed 5. A highlight of everyone’s day was our 300 point match with teams 118 Robonauts and 1986 Team Titanium. It was the highest scoring match of the day!

Evan (human player) and 2014 robot

Saturday was a great end to our experience! Although we lost two of our three qualification matches that day, we were seeded 9th, and ended up being captains of the 6th alliance with alliance partners 2410 and 3172. It was great working with you! This was an awesome chance to prepare our team for our regional next week at North Star. Thanks again to all who stayed updated on our Twitter feed!