Friday, March 28, 2014

Focus on Life: Week 13 ~ At eye level

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting another year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and for 2014 Sally is choosing a monthly theme, with a different prompt each week.

The theme for March is 'Checked Out' and this week's theme is At eye level.

I'll have to explain what met my eyes this morning. 

A few months back the school agreed to create a Lego Robo team with William and a few of his friends (3 boys and one girl for a team of 4). We received 2 Lego robotics kits from the board and proceeded to work. 

They built the robots, and I taught them to program it. First on the robot brick itself, very simple instructions (5 instructions only). Then on the computer - at the Pilot level, with simple steps and things like 'Go forward', 'Go backward', 'Turn a light on / off'. Then yesterday I introduced them to the Inventor level, which itself has 4 levels. I got them through Levels 1-3, with the possibility to add instructions for each motor, each sensor (it has light, sound, push sensors - and you can add more, like temperature), play music, as well as use loops, jumps, and forks (tasks running in parallel). 

Last night I worked on something (I need to understand how the robot works before I can teach the kids :) ) and I thought to put everything aside when I retired for bed. Then I thought 'hmm, let it stay here, on the table and see what happens in the morning' 

What you see above happened in the morning: I woke up and the child was in front of the laptop, creating that quite complex structure, and testing it. It almost worked as he imagined it from the first time (couple of tweaks only were needed). 

Needles to say I am incredibly proud of him - of all 4 of them, in fact, they all grasped quite complex concepts very easily. Two of them work at empirical level (trial and error), while two actually study and check before testing. It's interesting to watch them, and it's incredibly rewarding to see their robot do what they wanted it to do. 

Wish us luck next Thursday! They dream of winning all they way to Nationals and going to Brazil (where the World competition takes place this year). 

In the meantime, they settled for ice cream: if they win, it's celebratory ice cream; if they loose, it's 'cheer-up!' ice cream. You must love their logic!

In the meantime, please see what everybody saw at their eye level - it's going to be an interesting get-together :) 


  1. It is so exciting to see the way boys so fearlessly tackle challenges at this age (OK I say boys but I'm sure girls, too, but you know with only boys I'm used to saying that LOL). If only we could keep that always... though I guess you are proving YOU can take on a challenge, too, Alicia :) Like mother, like son :)

  2. Wow! What a great experience. Good luck to the boys and Mom!

    1. Ooops! I see you did mention the girl. My bad.

  3. What a cool story. I have never heard of a lego robo team but it sure sounds like a stimulating way to train your brain. You'll have to report on the outcome of the competition next week.

  4. Waow, how cool this is, you can be proud! good luck for the competition!

  5. That is a wonderful post. Good luck to William and his friends. Alicia I marvel at you. You keep the house going, go to school yourself, have time to teach William, organize the CCA7, focus on life, make jewelry, and don't even know how many other things. What an amazing woman you are.

  6. Wow, I am so impressed with your son and his friends and of course you for having to learn and then instruct. Great project and please keep us posted as they progress in the competition.

  7. Oh my goodness - how awesome is this?! What genius minds. Wishing them the best during the competition. And, to think this is at 'eye-level' for them (and you). It would be waaayyy over my head! LOL!

  8. Well that is very exciting. Learning has made leaps and bounds since the advent of the computer!

  9. That's amazing! I would not have a clue for where to begin. Best of luck on the competition!

  10. Isn't it just thrilling to watch kids learn and "get it"! I wish every child had a mom like you who was willing to take the time to learn and instruct and encourage. Sending winning thoughts their way next week!


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