First Lego League State Championships

The Iowa Championships of First Lego Leauge (FLL) were held January 13th and 14th at Iowa State University. Held annually, the event is aimed at K-12 students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The students use Lego robotics to accomplish set tasks, and they’re judged base off of how well they complete these tasks. 

For Cyclone Space Mining (CSM), this was a great opportunity to reach out to young STEM minds. CSM achieved this by having members volunteer at the event and also having a booth to discuss our robots, college, and STEM with students and parents. Altogether, CSM contributed over ninety hours of volunteering to this event and spoke to nearly 600 people at our booth during both days of the event. It is always a joy to discuss our club with interested young-learners, and CSM looks forward to next years FLL competition. 


View photos of this event on our Flickr:

Lunar Lander Activity

If you’re looking for a fun activity to interest young learners, the Lunar Lander Activity is a great choice. With just a few cheap building materials, you can stimulate your children’s/classrooms critical thinking skills, along with their imaginations.

To complete this activity, please follow the instructions in this PDF:


Recently we offered this activity at Edwards Elementary School’s Science Night. We went in with around 50 lunar lander kits and ended up needing to make more as the activity was so popular. The children who participated in the activity challenged themselves to make the best lander possible, and the creativity was truly ‘out of this world’. 


View some of the creative crafts and more photos from the science night on our Flickr page:



2017 Outreach Report

The Iowa State Cyclone Space Mining team works hard to provide a relationship between Robotics, Space, and Mining to the STEM fields. As a part of the NASA Outreach report, students made an illustration in the form of a circuit board to show the relationships.

As seen in the illustration, the words form a complete circuit to ensure that each and every part of STEM plays an important role in the Robotic Space Mining application. This illustration shows an important part of outreach and how engaging students in one subject can lead to new and bright innovations relating to space mining. The outreach group of Cyclone Space Mining creates a hands on activity for each event and brings along a robot to show students around the community what they are capable of doing in a few years. 

Our team continues to extend our outreach around Iowa to ensure every child will have the opportunity to do what makes them happiest and try new things. Stay tuned for more outreach events throughout the 2017-2018 season!


Girls In Science Festival

By Taylor Meyer

As part of our outreach program, the Science Center of Iowa located in Des Moines, IA asked us to present an activity to show the kids how space, robotics, and engineering play important roles in our club. We came with a very simple activity — balloons and pennies. Since every kid loves balloons (except the popping!) we had the kids put a single penny inside of a balloon. We then challenged the students to keep the penny moving after shaking and rotating the balloon as much as they needed. The balloons allowed for light to shine through, so the penny is easily visible.  

Club Member, Tyler Friesen demonstrates the meaning of centripetal forces to kids at the Girls in Science Festival

Once the girls got the penny spinning, we then explained to them how this worked. The penny wants to keep moving in a straight line, however the balloon is keeping it rotating in a circular motion. We could then scale this demonstration up and act as if the Sun was in the center of the balloon, and the penny was the Earth, orbiting around the sun. In addition to bringing the demonstration, we also brought our competition robot, along with a computer that played videos of our robot during competition.

We reached about 300 students at this event, which shows how excited we are to help the younger generation get interested in science, engineering and space! We have formed a wonderful relationship with the Science Center and continue going to outreach events hosted by their program.

Clayton Anderson Visits Iowa State

Clayton Anderson with the LunaCY teamThursday November 3rd, Clayton Anderson visited campus where he toured the Engineering Clubfest. Mr. Anderson is an alumn off Iowa State, earning his masters in Aerospace Engineering in 1983. He went on to become an an astronaut and was in space for 166 days. He showed interest with LunaCY, given the relavence to space travel and deep space exploration. In 2008, Anderson recieved the Distinguished Alumni Award.