This week we started off talking about the amount of time we have left, namely 17-1/2 hours of meeting time. The kids commented that this was a lot of time, until I told them that if they worked straight through, they would have to be all done by 9:00am the next morning. They didn’t think that was a lot of time after that!
We discussed a team logo for our tournament t-shirts. I showed them a mock-up I made, and also told them they could come up with their own design if they wanted. Several kids asked for the sheets to sketch out a design. We’ll go over them and choose at the next meeting.
I also introduced the A.S.K. principle. A.S.K. stands for “Alternate Sources of Knowledge”. I explained that as we do our research and building/programming, if we need help we can seek out alternate sources of knowledge and ASK them questions.
We then needed to decide on the exact topic of our research project. Over the previous three weeks we had done a lot of brainstorming and came up with lots of good examples of our community, the types of transportation, and issues surrounding those mode of transportation. After much discussion, the team decided to look at ways to improve the efficiency of the school bus routes and how we might cut down on bussing time and fuel usage.
We then talked about robot design, and coaches decision that we needed to start with an existing design, build that, and then later improve on it, versus starting from scratch. This is an issue for a lot of newer teams, especially with younger participants. We now have two almost-complete robots that we can start programming missions with.
At that point, we did our weekly split up into 3 groups. One group focused on the research project, with the other two working on building the two robots. The research group came up with lots of good questions and information that we need to gather to continue the research project.
Lastly, after we had cleanup time, I again gathered the kids around the competition table, and I gave them a demonstration using “coach’s robot”. This is a third robot that I will use to teach them design principles and programming with the computers. I programmed the robot to leave the base area and “dead-reckon” steer around the curve to the area where a bunch of the hoops are at.
That’s it for this week. Next week we will continue the research project and start actually programming missions.
- Coach Brian