Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Technology Time

So, Dan and I were both sick last week. I've been sick since Thanksgiving Day and thankfully I think I'm really on the mend (after a trip to the dr to get some meds). Dan spent three days home last week with us. The second day, he helped to set the course for a morning of technology problem solving. It was a fabulous non-directed sort of unschooling day for the kids and they were able to do quite a bit of problem solving.

One Mindstorm creation from this day is below. The kids had two robots going. R9 built a really nice one that would use the sound sensor to tell of they were being too loud. If you started talking to loud the red light would blink and it would say, "Silent!" If you were talking at a good level for not waking young brothers in the morning, then the green light was steadily shining. Pretty clever. I wish I had taken a picture right away, but unfortunately that robot is already old news.

Below is the program E11 and R9 wrote for the Volume Detector. This one is a forever loop that has a switch that will be activated based on the sound level. If the sound level is below a certain point, it displays the decibel number and a green light blinks. If the sound level is above a certain point, then it displays the decibel level again and it shines a red light and says, "Silent!"

It's relatively easy to click and drag each programming block, as long as you know what each block means and what your goal is- what you are trying to get your robot to do. This is the NXT 2.0 software that comes with a LEGO Mindstorms kit. It's what the kids used to program their robot for the FLL Competition.

J4 was doing some building of his own. He used the Kapla blocks to make roof. Under the blocks making the roof are two rulers spanning the milk carton blocks. Very clever.
Do you ever have a room that looks like this? During a part of most days this is what our playroom floor looks like!

1 comment:

Cassandra Frear said...

My son built a number of robots during his school years. It was great fun. And yes, we kept all the robots as heirlooms!