Brenda Heitmeyer earns ‘Outstanding Service Award’
Tuesday / December 22, 2015
Marshalltown Community College instructor, Brenda Heitmeyer, received an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for her role as coordinator of the FIRST LEGO League Regional event.
“We honored numerous key volunteers this year because we thought they deserved recognition for their years of service,” Jennifer La Gesse, K-12 Community Outreach Coordinator, Iowa State University College of Engineering. Brenda has been an organizer for a FIRST LEGO League Regional event since 2008.
Heitmeyer has been involved in the FIRST LEGO League for 10 years—first three as a coach and the last seven as tournament coordinator. She says the goal of FIRST LEGO League is to get students interested in STEM-related careers, while also having some fun.
“You have to come to an event in order to fully understand it. It’s almost like a sporting event,” says Heitmeyer, who teaches computer networking and developmental math and business courses at MCC. “They’re so creative…it’s amazing. The kids are having so much fun that they don’t even realize that they’re learning.” She says the FIRST LEGO League teaches critical thinking, teamwork, programming, and problem solving.
Heitmeyer doesn’t do it alone. This year’s tournament committee consisted of herself, Nathan Davis, Connie Gardalen, Mark Monroe, Chris Russell, Trudi Scott, and Lara Thoms. “It takes a lot of planning throughout the year. This award should really go to all of them.”
The FIRST LEGO League National Qualifying Event is set for Jan. 16-17 at Iowa State University.