Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Robots! Ahhh!

Hey guys! Today will be a short post, because I completely forgot it was Wednesday! Three day weekends seriously throw me off...

So, you may remember that I have some strong opinions on Legos. Specifically the Friends line. But today I wanted to let you know that, poor judgement lines aside, Lego is also pretty cool. The school year has just begun for most of us, and this year I am lucky enough to be teaching Lego Robotics to high schoolers. Yep, I get to play with Legos at work! If you haven't heard of it before, Lego makes these great kits for robot building called Lego Mindstorms. Kids build robots out of Legos, them program them using software loaded into the little control unit. The basic little robot is pretty cute and can do some nice tricks, but it gets really exciting when they start designing their own. Advanced students can start programming them in Java or graduate to the Lego Tetrix kits, which are real metal and circuitry.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying you should run out and get a set, because wowza they're pricey. But Lego Robotics enthusiasts abound, so there are club and classes all over the place where you can learn and build to your heart's content! And best of all, there are programs for all ages.

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade are in the Junior First Lego League
4th - 8th Grade are in the First Lego League
7th - 12th Grade compete in the First Tech Challenge
9th - 12th Grade can also compete in the First Robotics Challenge

Max has been enjoying helping me build and program practice robots at home. All levels can be a great way to build on STEM skills critical thinking, team work, and many other skills. I encourage you to check it out! And now, I'll leave you with some awesome robot footage:


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