We have formed a plan for team Beatles to compete in the 2010 First Lego League challenge, and our team consists of the following members:
Based on our experience in 2009 as a first year team, we have learned a few things. First, we have learned that more parental help is needed. As such, this year Joe Armstrong and I will share the coaching responsibilities, and we’ll be asking all of the parents to help with one part of the challenge. Second, we need to have longer meetings. As such, I am suggesting that we meet on the weekends and not after school. The Downards and Armstrongs can take turns hosting many of the meetings in their garages (where we can leave the playing field set up), and we can have some special gatherings to work on research at the houses of other members of our team. Third, there may be a second team from Flagstaff Junior Academy, but it will have its own set of coaches with its own time and place for practices. It was simply too difficult to keep things on track last year with so many kids pulling us in different directions. Finally, we need to get an earlier start.
Here is the list of activities. A parent from each family needs to pick one to act as a helper:
1) doing the research and writing the presentation;
3) building the lego objects for the playing field and the robot;
3) programming the robot. (Laurie)
Last, but not least, we need to organize snacks for each gathering. (Marian)
When the parts for the challenge arrive in early August, we can set aside some days to get everything built. That way, when the rules and points for the playing field are announced in early September, we'll be able to spend more time on the design of the robot and programming in the fall.
The challenge for 2010 is "Engineering Meets Medicine." Information about the challenge is available at the FLL website.
Our initial idea is build on what we did last year on bicycles and focus on the use of adaptive bikes by folks with one or another kind of medical problem. The options include the challenges faced by those who have visual impairments, difficulties with muscular control, or balance and cognitive impairments. It might be possible, for instance, to use an adaptive trike with a seeing eye dog and/or a Lego brick with ultrasonic sensors to help a person with visual impairment ride a bike safely.