Children’s Blog

Another Successful Round of LEGO WeDo Robotics

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Two groups, one made up of second- and third-graders, one of fourth- and fifth-graders, just completed two workshops using Lego WeDo Robotics equipment. We spent the first two weeks learning about scientific concepts and practicing using the Lego software. The third and final week, the kids got to build and program whatever they wanted.


In the second and third grade group, some of the pairs built Lego-designed machines, and some designed their own machines. We saw airplanes, battering rams, and (rather deadly) amusement park rides.

This invention plows people over.

 

Here we have a Lego figurine riding an alligator like a bucking bronco!

 

We only had a few kids attend the final session of the fourth and fifth grade workshop, so each person got to use a Lego kit without having to share. Everyone came up with their own ideas, including amusement park rides*, cars, and machines that can knock down paper cups.

This amusement park ride works like a combination of a catapult and a bungee jump. Ride at your own risk.

 

Riders are spun around in both directions on this dangerous ride.

 

Don’t forget to check our Facebook page for more photos, and videos will be coming soon!

 

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This is how WeDo May

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This month we’re diving back into our LEGO WeDo Robotics programming. We’ve got a three-week workshop for kids in grades 2 and 3 on Wednesdays, and another workshop for grades 4 and 5 on Thursdays. Each group had their first sessions last week.

 

With the 2nd and 3rd graders we talked about the six types of simple machines. We had a basic introduction to how computer programming works, as well as how to use the specific software we’d be utilizing. Then the kids paired up and dove into some projects. The 4th and 5th graders had a very similar set-up, but we started off talking about gears and belt-drive systems.

 

As the kids built their robots, they were encouraged to look for simple machines, gears, and belt-drive systems within their LEGO creations. The kids did a great job finding those elements within the robots they were building.

 

We’ve got two more weeks with these groups, then the majority of our LEGO programming will be done for the school year. We’ll have a few LEGO programs scattered throughout our Summer Reading program, so keep an eye out for our calendar if you’re interested!


And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more photos of the fun!

Slimy Science

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Yesterday we had another installment of our STEAM Club series. This time, our theme was the science of slime!


We spent a little time learning about polymers. We talked about their molecular bonds, and we discussed the characteristics of different kinds of polymers. Then we got messy! We made three kinds of slime and discussed the characteristics of all three kinds.

Our first slime was the simplest, made with just water and cornstarch (and food coloring and glitter just for fun!). This one’s often called Oobleck after the famous Dr. Seuss substance.

 

Next we made slime with flour, dish soap, and water. We decided this one was the slimiest.

 

Finally, we made slime with marshmallows, corn starch, and coconut oil. This one was the firmest, the stretchiest, and even a little bouncy. This kids also figured out that it’s edible, so some of this experiment got eaten.


Keep an eye out for more STEAM Club programs! These programs are usually for kids in grades 2-5, and we always focus on a different STEAM topic. And don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for more photos of the ooey gooey action!

LEGO Mindstorms Ends with Epic Battle

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Yesterday we had our final session of our LEGO Mindstorms workshop! The kids did an amazing job learning about robotics and computer programming. In teams, they created two robots that they were able to complete and program.

 

After they completed and experimented with their robots the way they were designed in the LEGO instructions, both teams decided to make modifications to their robots.

 

The group who made the Tank Bot noticed that the robot was great at driving in routes that made shapes. They figured out how to attach a pencil to their bot and have it draw a shape on paper we taped on the floor!

 

In the end, the teams decided to set their bots against each other in a battle arena. Each team made a few modifications to their robots, and we battled in 3 rounds. If a any piece fell off of a robot, the robot lost that round.

 

Battle Round 1

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Full STEAM Ahead This April!

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We’ve got a whole calendar full of awesome programs this month, and tons of them focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math!

  • Saturday, April 8, 10:30am: STEAM Storytime for preschoolers all about the five senses! We’ll share some stories, then we’ll do a bunch of hands-on activities that are perfect for ages 3-5.
  • Wednesday, April 19, 5-7pm: Family Movie Night! Come check out a movie on our big screen! For families with kids of all ages.
  • Thursday, April 20, 4-5pm AND Saturday, April 29, 10:30-11:30am: Legopalooza! Open Lego construction for ages 5-12.
  • Friday, April 21, 10:30am-12pm: STEAM Crafts for ages 3 and up with a grown-up.
  • Saturday, April 22, 10:30am-12pm: #selfie Smart Art! Kids ages 5 and up can create self-portraits using different art and sculpture techniques at this hands-on STEAM program. *Registration is required for this program.
  • Wednesday, April 26, 3:30-4:30pm: Science of Slime! At this STEAM Club activity for grades 2-5 we’ll learn a little about polymers, and we’ll make a couple types of ooey…

LEGOS, LEGOS Everywhere!

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In the past two weeks we’ve been incredibly busy with our LEGO programs.

 

In our LEGO Mindstorms workshops - for kids in grades 4 and 5 - kids have been learning all about the intricacies of how computer programming works with various motors and sensors. We focused pretty intensely on how the computer programming aspects actually work, and we made a lot of progress using a very simple robot called the EXPLOR3R.

 

This week, we decided to move on from the EXPLOR3R and let the kids choose more complicated robots with designs provided with the LEGO software. Each team chose which robot they wanted to build and started working in it, and they’ll finish next week.

 

We just finished up our LEGO WeDo Robotics workshops for kids in grades 2 and 3. We learned about simple machines, gravity, friction, and other elements of physics. We also learned how to utilize the LEGO software to write simple computer programs to control our LEGO robots. The kids then worked in teams to create robots, and some teams created their very own machines!


For photos from the last two weeks, check out the LEGO Workshops album on our Facebook page!