Week of Thanksgiving:
- Optional Saturday practices: Several of the kids have already requested more time to work on their FLL activities. So, beginning this weekend, we will hold optional practices on Saturdays from 8:30 – noon. Drop-off and pick-up will be at the gym lobby. However, if your child will be arriving late or leaving early (which is completely acceptable for optional practices), please use the door by my classroom. If you park by the YMCA/parent pick-up doors, you notice a fire lane that runs right alongside the building. Walk down this lane and you’ll see a door. We’re the last classroom before the door area, so you can knock on the windows if we don’t see you at first.
Parent sneak peak: It’s still early in the season, but the kids are eager to show off what their robots can do, and what they’re planning to do in the near future. Stop by after practice on the days scheduled below to see what the kids have been up to the past two months.
- On Monday, November 25 and Tuesday, November 26, we will have optional practices from 11:50 am to 1:50 pm, due to the half-days. I need to be at conferences beginning shortly after this, so please make sure to be on time. We’ll be on time, too!
- Participating students should bring a packed lunch to eat. Dismissal on these days will be at the normal place (main office doors).
- There will be no practice on Wednesday, November 27th.
First Annual Wildcat Creative Problem Solving Day: This year, the OJR elementary and middle school Odyssey of the Mind teams and the East Vincent and North Coventry First Lego League teams will be joining together on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 10:00 – noon to practice spontaneous creative problem solving skills and to bond more closely as teams. The students will be judged on their ability to solve a secret spontaneous problem and their ability to work well together as a team during the Core Values FLL judging session at tournament, so this will be a great opportunity to prepare. We’re very excited to join with the district’s many clever, talented teams! The event will be held at the East Vincent Elementary School gym, and parents are responsible for providing or arranging for transportation to and from the event. Please see the attached flyer to sign up your child. I’ll also send home a hardcopy of this flyer at Thursday’s practice.
- GaliLegos: Monday, November 18th from 5:00 – 5:15 pm
- Gear Gurus: Tuesday, December 3rd from 5:00 – 5:15 pm
Student FLL Homework
A Call for Parent Help
- The research project is one of the hardest challenges the teams need to achieve each year. This year, the teams need to identify a specific problem a real community might face as a result of Nature’s Fury (preparing for, staying safe during, or recovering afterwards). Then, they’ll need to propose a solution to their problem and design a prototype of their solution. Finally, they’ll need to share their ideas with the world, and prepare an entertaining presentation about their project for the judges. This is a huge task, especially considering it’s only 1/3 of the FLL experience. On Thursday, the students will be given a take-home research assignment to help move the teams in the right direction. Parents are encouraged to help their child as they find, navigate through, and gather information from articles, websites, and videos. The best way for the kids to process the information and brainstorm creative, innovative solutions is to discuss what they’re learning with as many different people as possible.
- If you are able to come help sort, count out the pieces, and prepare the NXT robot kits for sale (see below), please let me know. I’d love to have these prepared by Thanksgiving. I could meet with volunteers to work on this next Tuesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm or on a Saturday morning while the optional practices are occurring. If we choose a Tuesday, we can order pizza for dinner. The FLL kids are welcome to help as well, of course!
Lego Mindstorms NXT Kit Sale
- Each year, we try to take a research field trip to help the teams understand what’s happening in the real world related to their problems. With two teams, however, I’m struggling to find time to organize this, along with managing the other parts of the research project. It would be a great if a parent would be willing and able to help out. If you are interested, please let me know and I can give you some more details. A couple of possibilities would be:
- Contact a local meteorologist to see if the kids could come see where he/she works, what he/she does, how he/she is involved in the Nature’s Fury response process.
- Contact the local emergency response department (http://www.chesco.org/index.aspx?NID=1849) to see if we could come see how they function and learn about some of the most pressing needs in the area.
- East Vincent Robotics is preparing to sell our old NXT robot kits to make room and raise funds for new EV3 kits. The robot kits at East Vincent are used for Lego League, Lego Lab, and the summer enrichment programs (Wildcat Creativity Camp and Engineer’s Think Tank). Sales from this fundraiser will benefit over 150 kids this year alone.
- The brand new NXT Education Base Sets cost $295 (plus shipping), but we’ll be offering our kits for $180 (plus shipping and handling). If the kit is picked up at East Vincent, there will be no shipping/handling fees. Both the NXT and EV3 retail software is available for download FREE from Lego and both versions of software are compatible with the NXT robot kits.
- New EV3 Education Kits start at $340, so for every two NXT kits we sell, we’ll be able to purchase one new EV3 kits, including the cost of shipping.
- If you, or anybody you know, is interested in purchasing one of these kits, please let me know. I’m hoping to have them available for sale beginning the last week of November or the first week of December, but I can begin to make a waiting list now.
- I expect these will go fast, as we’ll be listing them on Bricklink.com, 45 people already have them on their “wish lists,” and the average sale price on Bricklink is currently over $300!
This Wednesday, the Gali-Legos will be traveling to Bentley Systems to learn what it's like for real-world engineers at their workplace and share all they've learned and accomplished over the years.
See their presentation materials here: http://prezi.com/ycqri3xbioa5/east-vincent-robotics-2013-update/
2013 Nature's Fury Robot Game
Here it is...Scott Evan's annual video recap of the challenge. Remember, while Scott is the Robot Game designer and makes all the rules, this video is an informal overview of the challenge. You MUST read the actual challenge documents for accurate and detailed information. If Scott misspeaks in this video, and you don't read the document, you'll miss out on points. The responsibility is on you, the team!
Watch the video below and be ready to discuss your ideas at our first team meeting. See you then!
This trailer, created by Sean Zubey, gives a quick intro to all the team accomplished with their Lego robot (Ball Bot).
Sean and Robin created this video that shows all their missions -- for a grand total of 490 points!
Ever wonder what all the kids need to do for First Lego League? Will and Ben compiled this video summarizing their entire "Senior Solutions" season (Core Values, Research Project, and Robot Game).
Conor, Ryan, Nate, and Kyle shot these videos of their attachments.