Friday, March 4, 2011

Mechanics of LEGO Robots

Our new semester of homeschool co-op is officially underway! This semester Dan is teaching a class on the mechanics of LEGO robots. He is fun to watch teach a class. I get to be the helper. Each spring he tries to teach another aspect of working with the NXT kit so that we can strengthen our FLL team for the new competition season. By the end of the semester, our 2011 team will be in place and we'll meet during the summer. Mid-summer we get the new registration kit and the Friday of Labor Day weekend they announce the challenge. Last year, we held a kick off party that night. Then the season really kicks into gear.

This semester he really wanted to focus on how to build stronger robots. The first lesson was on torque.

The kids had to load up nickels and move the baskets to get them to balance.

Levers and vectors oh my!

They had to recognize the pattern as they added the nickels and calculated the torque.

Warms my science teacher heart...look at these data sheets. Impressive Dan!

This is the model Dan had the kids make. He made these directions all by himself using a free program from the LEGO website.
LEGO Digital Designer allows you to build with bricks on your computer and then print out the building instructions! You can also order the custom set, but actually it won't let you do that with Technic pieces. Best of all, it's free! How cool is that?

There's a lot in store for this LEGO Mechanics class this spring. We began in mid-February and we go through the first week of May. Our Co-op runs for 10 Mondays from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. Next up is an update from the other class I'm teaching.

3 comments:

Tracey said...

Looks cool! Can I joined this coop?

Heather said...

Do you like snow?

Tracey said...

What do you think? LOL! The temp went back down to 45 today, and we were wearing coats and gloves.