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Molalla Minions win


by: SUBMITTED - Minions AJ Deardorff and Ethan Lazar compete with the team robot. Their team name is the Molalla Minions, and in their first big competition at Memorial Middle School in Albany, they came up champs. Now they are on to state.

The new club is made up of Molalla FLL team members in fourth through eighth grades, who built a Lego robot and run their robot in competition with other teams.

“Our district (MRSD) is invested in the STEM movement and one of our initiatives was to establish a FLL team, said their coach and club founder Blane Lazar, the Molalla River math coach.

Lazar said his young, rookie team is made up of two fifth graders and eight sixth graders who represent Molalla Elementary, Rural Dell, RPA and Molalla River Middle School.

“We decided to start the team in the spring and received monetary support from Wells Fargo and Figaro’s,” he said. “We also received a grant from the Oregon Department of Education. Kids started meeting this summer in June learning programming, engineering, teamwork and leadership concepts.”

by: SUBMITTED - Team members after winning the trophy: from left: AJ Deardorff, Sadie Courtney, Cori Oster, Georgia Hunter, Abbey Briley, Ethan Lazar, Bo Sether, Cameron McManigal, Brandon Orick, Michael Kemp and Rodney Gray.He said the kids on the team have invested hundreds of hours, creating a project and building a robot for competition. They have been meeting every Saturday for months to work on the project.

“I am so proud of them,” he said. “They are such hard workers, and so dedicated.”

At last week’s competition, the Minions won the Core Values trophy and they qualified for the state meet coming up in January.

The state meet takes place Jan. 19 in Hillsboro, at Liberty High School. Go Minions!