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Summer Resources and Activities for 2010-11

Here's three resources for you to use this spring and summer to supercharge your FIRST teams. Enjoy.


Hold a Great LEGO Boat Race

This year will be our 8th Great LEGO Boat Race (We think. We lost count).

The rules are simple:

* Everything above the water line must be made of LEGOs
* You can power it any way you want to (except no fireworks or anything that will contaminate the water).
* You must launch your boat from our pool deck (that is, you cannot get in the water).

We have awards for the longest, shortest, lightest, heaviest, most creative, most clever engineering, etc. But the big prize is always the fastest to touch the opposite side of the pool (about 15 feet).

Download this ZIP file with sample of all our organizational documents and signs
TechBrickGreatLEGOBoatRaceDocuments.zip

This is a great way to get your larger interest group together for an end-of-season event.

Check out some previous boat race photos!
http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2006/Photos/Photos20070629BoatRace
http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2007/Photos/Photos080507BoatRaceV
http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2004/meetings/20040730
http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/LEGO2008/Events/Events090607BoatRaceVI
http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2010/Events/Events20110709BoatRace
 


Do a 'You Can Write It Well' Group Activity

Over the past four years we have more than 30 large group meetings with our monthly club. We've covered many areas of engineering and technology using LEGOs.

The most talked about session last year was the "You Can Write It Well" activity.

The participants (parents and kids) are given a bag of LEGOs from which they have to build a model and document it step-by-step. The instructions are then given to another group with a bag of identical parts and they have to try and build the model.

This is a great team-building exercise for your team or larger group.

Go here for last year's photos and documentation and instructions.
http://www.techbrick.com/LEGO/LEGO2006/Photos/Photos20070427FridayClub

Go here for this year's photos and projects.
http://www.techbrick.com/LEGO/LEGO2007/Photos/Photos080502Friday


A Great Book for Pre-Season Training

THE LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT ZOO

This great book by Fay Rhodes contains very clever and complex animals that can be built with the NXT system.

We will be using this book for our pre-season team camp in May to train our new FLL team members in the basics of NTX building.

Click here to buy LEGO Mindstorms NXT ZOO!

FROM AMAZON

Whether you're just beginning with your LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set or are already an expert, you'll have hours of fun with these animal-like models that walk, crawl, hop, and roll!

The first part of the book introduces you to the NXT kit and reviews the parts you'll need in order to begin building. Next, you'll learn how to program with the NXT-G programming language, including how to make miniprograms called My Blocks that you can use to build larger programs. Finally, you'll learn how to build each robot and program it to act like its real animal cousins.

Learn to build and program the following robots:

  • Ribbit, a jumping frog
  • Bunny, a hopping rabbit
  • Sandy, a walking camel
  • Spiderbot, an eight-legged spider that avoids objects and walks forward and backward
  • Snout, a walking alligator that opens and closes its jaws
  • LEGOsaurus, a four-legged, plodding dinosaur
  • Pygmy, a walking elephant that raises and lowers its head
  • Polecat, a skunk on wheels that lifts its tail and shoots "darts"
  • Strutter, a peacock on wheels that turns and flutters its tail feathers

Troubleshooting tips help you avoid problems like misarranged gears and incorrect programming, while a list of Internet resources is included to help guide you in further exploration with the NXT. Teachers and home educators will appreciate an appendix with helpful suggestions for using the models in the classroom.

The models in this book have been tested repeatedly -- and built successfully -- by novice builders, so all you have to do is follow the directions and watch them go. Now, let the building begin!

About the Author

Fay Rhodes is co-author of The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book (No Starch), a 2007 member of LEGO's MINDSTORMS Community Partners (MCP), and the only female contributor to the NXT Step Blog.


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