While our LEGO engineering campers are waiting for their parents, we usually let them play with the LEGOs. Yesterday, one of the campers made the interesting device at left, complete with a sensor, a free-swinging pendulum and claws at the top. He’s only about 8, and knew nothing of the Univ. of Utah’s ROCR robot that we recently shared a story about, so he couldn’t quite figure out why we thought his spontaneous design was so interesting. This morning, we brought in a picture of ROCR, showed it all the campers and compared it to the student’s design. After explaining how ROCR climbed carpeted walls, we mused a bit about how it might climb smooth walls.
“Suction cups,” said a 6 year old matter of factly. No doubt the University of Utah worked a long time on ROCR, but maybe R&D might consider brainstorming with elementary students!
The rest of the day was spent testing various rubberband car designs, and refining programming and building skills. Tomorrow, students get a shot at some table challenges and on Friday, we’re hosting an exhibition for campers’ families, showcasing campers’ skills, and a little of TDTs, too.
Many, many thanks to Grannybubba’s Bakery, of Land O’ Lakes, another great local business reaching out to Team Duct Tape with kindness and support. GrannyBubba’s growing reputation as a phenomenal local bakery understandably puts a high price on the cost of the beautiful custom cakes made by chef Christopher Moore. But when he learned more about Team Duct Tape and saw how much we value and return our community support, he went to great lengths to make sure TDT could afford a cake worthy of the celebration we wanted to throw for team members and families, and personally delivered the cake to our door!
GrannyBubba’s terrific Duct Tape cake made the party, too good looking to eat, but looking too good not to eat – so after giving it suitable admiration, we dug in – and weren’t disappointed! It tasted as great as it looked, and made a great kick off for an afternoon of fun, games and conversation.
We celebrated our graduates, too, two of whom are heading off to state colleges – the University of Florida and Florida Institute of Technology, and one who’s staying closer to home and will be coaching FLL Team TechnoForce among other things. Our grads hope to be joining in some of our activities and outreach efforts when their schedules permit and we’re equally glad to show them off, so people see what FIRST Tech Challenge can help students accomplish.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be gearing up for the new season, too. We’ve got room for four new students, and would especially love to have some girls join Team Duct Tape this season. We’ve got a great line up up of activities and programs through the summer, including:
- coolTECH at MOSI on June 4 ,
- PTC/USERS World Event in June, in Orlando,
- YMCA LEGO Engineering camp, Bob Sierra YMCA in Northdale, the week of August 9 , and
- 2010 LIFE Fest education conference on Sept. 18 in Orlando at Orange County Extension Service
We’re also looking forward to our annual Independence Day Potluck in July, with more food and fun and friendship! Team Duct Tape is ready to roll for the 2010-11 season, heading into our third season with lots of experience and fresh insights, and ready to see what FIRST has in store for us this year! If you’d like to be part of the fun, please visit “Be Part of Team Duct Tape” to learn more and apply!