It was a bright and sunny morning on November 10th when 34 Wise students and 22 even wiser Wise parents joined our Director of Technology Integration, and Junior First Lego League Coach, Judy Hoffman for an exciting workshop at Legoland, California,
The purpose of the workshop was to find out the 2014 Junior First Lego League Challenge so that our four official Junior First Lego League (Jr. FLL) Robotics Team could begin their build season. Each team will need to create a Show Me Poster explaining their response to the Challenge and create a Lego Model built upon a 15” x 15” base plate.
It’s time to end the suspense. The 2014 Jr. FLL THINK TANK Challenge is now underway. The Think Tank Challenge is about redefining learning. This season each team is challenged to:
1. Choose a place where you could learn something.
2. Choose a specific tool that you could use to learn something and find out more about it.
3. Show what you learned through your LEGO model and Show Me poster.
Our workshop took place in Legoland’s Imagination Zone. We divided into small groups and learned about simple machines (gears, pulleys, levers and inclined planes) and light sensors. We learned how to program light sensors from our Legoland Workshop experts. Each group worked with a Lego We Do kit (just like the ones we have in the Technology Innovation Lab) to create a model of an alligator with a snapping jaw that had a robotic sensor placed deep inside. Then we used our programming skills to write a program that would make the alligator jaw snap shut when the light was blocked by something as delicious as a small child’s hand. So, yes, we all went on a field trip with our teacher and had our hands bitten by alligators!
After finishing this project, groups had a chance to create other projects such as see saws and bridges that contained motors to move different types of gears and pulleys. It was a great learning experience and we learned skills that we will use back at school during our build season.
After our workshop everyone headed to The Knight’s Table where we enjoyed a feast of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and peanut butter and jam sandwiches inside a big blue tent. We all had a wonderful time eating lunch together, thinking about the 2014 Think Tank challenge and planning which rides we wanted to go on during the rest of the afternoon.
Our Junior First Lego League Teams will continue to work on the Think Tank Challenge over the next few weeks until build season comes to an end and it’s time to bring our Show Me Poster and Lego Model to Expo Season. Stay tuned for further details on Jr. First Lego League Regional Expos and whether any of our teams will be invited to the FIRST World Expo that take place in April 2015.
A special and heartfelt thanks to all the parents (and siblings) who rocked it all day at Legoland and drove all the way to Carlsbad so our Jr. First Lego League Teams could start our Rookie Year off in high style. Hi Fives to all of you!