Monday, September 15, 2008


One of our past sponsors, Dawn Williams (aunt of Austin, Morgan and Rawley) has once again made a generous donation to the team. Thank you so very much!

The meeting yesterday was interesting. As an experiment I decided not to give specific directions to any of the team members. The results: almost nothing was accomplished (at least on the surface). Granted we were several team members shy yesterday, so I didn't expect us to make much progress, but still...

Team members, you need to start taking an active role. It's easy enough for me to say "connect this to that" and then "no, make it bigger, like this" but what is really happening then? The results are me building a robot with someone else's hands. I want you to create it. I know it's daunting, I know some of the challenges are mind boggling, but it's supposed to be. Expect it not to work the first time, or the second, or the eighth time. That's part of inventing, that's part of designing. In my tinkering yesterday I went through 4 different chassis configurations, none of which worked very well. That doesn't mean I failed 4 times, I just discovered 4 ways not to build a robot for this challenge (yes, I'm plagiarizing Edison :-)

Some good did come out of the meeting, nick experimented with Technic building, and whether he knew it or not he was learning about the mathematics of LEGO, stored energy, inertia and kinetics. Austin did some experimenting with mounting a ultrasonic sensor, and discovered at least 3 ways not to do it. Connor learned about drag and friction. And of course we spent some time talking about the project and learning about climate changes. So we're accomplishing something, you guys are learning.

I'd also like to say thanks former team member Morgan for hanging out with us yesterday. It was great having you around again, even if only for a visit.

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