Global Recognition: 4-H Group Hopes to Win Big with Tornado Safety Project

By Jill Kasparie, KCRG-TV9

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa – Some Eastern Iowa kids are getting global recognition as they work to teach other younsters a valuable lesson.

An eight-person 4-H team called the Robotic Raiders recently finished creating a board game.

“We called it Cyclone Survivor,” said Clint Jones.

The 12-year-olds and their little Lego playing pieces have a goal: to teach kids about tornado safety.

“I think the best part was probably that it’s just kind of like creative. When everybody thinks of learning drills, they don’t think of games. They think of like everyone running in lines to the nearest, safest spot, and I think that was pretty cool,” said Nick Marovets.

They decided on the topic after hearing about disasters that impact people in Iowa from the county sheriff. Then, the 4-H team did all kinds of research and wrote questions.

The team said the goal is to answer questions correctly, move towards the center of the playing board and collect as many pieces as possible for a survival kit.

“Flashlight, food, battery-operated radios, stuff like that,” Jones said.

“I am very proud of it,” said Mitchell Miner.

They’re not the only ones impressed by how it turned out. At the end of the month, the team will travel to Virginia where it’s one of the top three finalists for a global prize called the “Global Innovation Award”.

This comes after competing at regional and state levels.

“I think it was a huge accomplishment for us,” Jones said.

“It was like a huge milestone for our team. I think it kind of got everyone motivated like, of what we could do if we all put our minds to it,” Marovets said.

With each move they make, they’re proud of their work and proud to represent Iowa.

“We aren’t just the tiny state in the middle of nowhere. We can actually accomplish things,” Marovets said.

The group and their coaches are raising money so that the whole team can attend the June 3 event to find out where they placed among the top three projects in the world.

If you’d like to help out, you can send donations or call the Iowa State University, Iowa County Extension Office. 4-H coaches said the group will use any prize money they win to help further develop and produce the game for more kids.

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