Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FLL Practice - Week Three

We only had one team practice this week (the advanced team) due to the Yom Kippur holiday.

We began with the team sitting around the practice mat and with the strategy group sharing their ideas of the mission order and for attachments. I assigned a student to scribe their ideas on a chart, and we also used this share time to reinforce group rules like attentive listening, turn taking, and respectful disagreements.

The strategy discussion got the team charged up for building! We split the team into 4 groups to build the robot base we discussed last week. Unfortunately the robot design the team decided on requires a flat base - so that means AA batteries and not the rechargeable ones - my budget just went up!

I grabbed the students who were interested in leading the research project to review the powerpoint that Mark Sharfshteyn shared at the Brooklyn FLL Kickoff You can find it here:

After getting the overview we looked into a website that maps out the effects of Climate Change in New York City (we googled "climate change NYC"). We learned some shocking effects of climate change in our area and decided we were most interested in researching the effect of flooding on our transit system. I think for next week we'll look into contacting someone from the MTA to come in and talk to us - or making a field trip to go see them. The students also brainstormed making a video because they felt they did not have enough physical space last year in the judging booth to make a great play. They also agreed that a video would be better for school assemblies and can be shared on You Tube.

I wonder if the beginner team will also want to look into the effects of flooding on our transit system? It would be great to have them all contribute to each other... but they also need to be in charge.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

FLL Practice - Week Two

Week two we made a lot of progress.

We began with an alliteration name game to remind us of all our names, then broke off into four groups:

Group 1 - Finished building the models for the robot game
Group 2 - Began Robot Research - finding a good base and attachments for the robot (on and
Group 3 - Learned how to program the light sensor and tested a starter robot to see if we could get it to follow the rainbow
Group 4 - Began strategizing the order of the missions

I floated between the building, robot research, and strategy teams, while our two high school mentors taught the programming group about the light sensor.

We ended the practice with a team meeting where everyone shared their findings. The only group that did not have time to share was the strategy team - but we will share their findings first thing next practice.