We're planning a week long robotics workshop based on The Mayan Adventure by Jim Kelly.
The kids are a mixed group from last year's First Lego League team, and some new kids who are planning on forming a team this year. Everyone will be divided in to three teams that will stay together throughout the week.
We've been busy planning for weeks. My garage has about 30 temple stones (cardboard boxes with Mayan hieroglyphics on them) and have worked out how each day's challenge will be set up. It's been a lot of fun to try and recreate the temple in a garage! I'll be including pictures of each day's set-up, so let me know what you think.
That's the fun part, but there's a serious side too. We'll start each morning by talking about the concept of Gracious Professionalism and then reading the story chapter for that day. On Monday, I'll introduce them to Jim Kelly's planning and design process. I think it will be the first time any of them have really tried to design a robot before just building it.
Once the design sheet is filled out, they will get to have a brief look at the challenge site. It will be a chance for them to visualize what their robot will have to do. Then it's time to build the robot.
After lunch, we'll be talking about programming concepts, again following the suggestions from the programming chapters of The Mayan Adventure. If they've had trouble getting a working robot, at this point, I'll give them some ideas from the building chapter.
Each team will get a chance to test their robot on the actual challenge site for about 15 minutes.
By 3 pm, it's challenge time. We'll follow the First Lego League format of letting each time have three runs at the challenge. Their highest scoring run will be the one that is recorded.
I've worked out a scoring for each of the robot challenges. The scoring was designed to encourage the teams to use the new programming techniques they will be learning each day. Basically, they'll get extra points if they include the technique (loops, switches, parallel processes, ..) that was introduced that day.
On the last day, each team will get to award up to 15 points to each of the other teams based on how they demonstrated the concept of Gracious Professionalism throughout the week.
I can't wait to see how the week goes.
Read my review of The Mayan Adventure.
Read more about LEGO NXT Mayan Adventure week.
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