Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I spent most of my Saturday up at Houghton College for the FLL (First Lego League) Competition. This is put on by our CABOCES Student Programs and I was asked to be a referee...I know, keep the snickering down. I really enjoyed it (even though I had to bring my own whistle....Crandall!).

Sorry- cell phone pic

These 5th-8th graders were really getting into it and had some neat ideas to complete the "missions" that they had to choose from. My only exposure to Lego Robotics was what Jessie Perison showed at last summers' High School New Face. Because of Jessie, I knew about the NXT software and how you put the 'block' into your own lego designed machine to make it move. He mentioned the different sensors and all, but it was amazing to see in a competition format.

The day flew by, and I was amazed at the great sportmanship displayed by everyone. The students are empowered to do all of the talking during the competition. Then, after they complete their mission we explained all of the points they earned(great suggestion from my wonderful partner, Mary Morris). The students listened intently to make sure we all agreed, then they ran off to make changes to their program that would help them earn more points for the next round.

I can't wait to do it again next year. I wish all of our school luck, and especially to these three moving onto the next round in Rochester, NY on Sunday, December 6th:


Randolph (led by Jessie Perison)


I truly enjoyed watching these young individuals excited and working together as a team to problem solve and collaborate. It made me wonder about other programs that students could get into and I thought about Google Sketchup right away. How about students designing 3-D buildings from their area and sending them to Google Earth? Could you have a similar Google Sketchup competition where they design a few buildings, then have a timed competition? Dr. Mike Doyle and I talked about this awhile ago when talking about Fab Labs and the power of Google Sketchup. Just a thought, I'm sure there are plenty of competitions for Google Sketchup out there.

Anyways, great day, I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

I know I did.


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