Monday, 6 January 2014

LEGO Robotics: the end is in sight...perhaps

Since the summer my two boys, as part of their team, C14, have been working towards a Lego Robotics competition run by First Lego League. Before Christmas they successfully beat all the teams in their regional competition and are now headed towards the nationals on the 1st February.

It has been a long haul.

Not just for them, but for their mother, whose diesel expenditure has gone through the roof, ferrying them backwards and forwards to team meetings and who has shuffled filed carefully a years worth of bills and bank statements while sitting in Sainsbury's cafe waiting for meetings to finish. Lots of filing, interspersed with fretting about whether Sainsbury's really do enforce their 2-hour parking limit. I even went to the library and lent a man a stapler while I sat and pondered the mental health of the - obviously borderline insane - woman on reception. My life has been thrills and spills.

Of course I can't help being their mother. Making helpful comments about their project write-up - "How about you put a full-stop somewhere in that paragraph?" - have resulted in occasional bad feeling and frequent teen sulking. Despite this, the whole exercise has, I think, been productive, (even if it hasn't vastly improved their ability to punctuate a sentence). I now have children who are willing (and able) to give a presentation in front of people. I have children who have shown how nice they can be to other children - if only to score a few more marks from the judges for 'coopertition'. And yes, that is a real word, apparently trademarked now (will me using it here be infringement of copyright, I wonder?) And I truly think they have learned lots of other things, I'm just not exactly sure what those things are. Educational, life-enhancing stuff, I'm sure.

I wont post team photos up here, but here's the link to their website where, if you want to see Lego robots doing Lego robot things, you can see for yourself what they've been up to.

[Sometimes real life intrudes when I am writing, so I feel compelled to mention that I'm typing this to the background noise of dd yelling 'left paw' at an animated dog on her Nintendo ds. Apparently the dog now does handstands. I am trying to sound excited. Except that we have a real dog that doesn't even come when it is called. I can't help thinking that the world is getting very surreal. ]


Roger said...

O had a lego mindstorms EV3 for Christmas. We've been reading about Little League

doodledaydream said...

this may seem a stupid comment, do you have any links for beginners ( an 8 y.o and very un-techy 40-something mum!!) grateful for any help!!

doodledaydream said...

do you have any links for beginers (8 yo and very untechy mum) grateful for any help thanks

Big mamma frog said...

Hi, the link to First Lego League is
but I'll ask the robot-creators in our house to see if they have any other links for beginners. My middle child started with the book the Unofficial Lego Mindstorms Inventors Guide - he made a robot and a (rather unreliable) Lego printer that he programmed to write 'Hello' :)