Our June meeting in the Lego and Robotics Academy was all about Downhill Racing. We used the force of gravity to energize custom built Lego race cars. When the starting gate was opened, we raced downhill to victory!
This was a special meeting this month, because we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of our club. Not all of our club members could be with us on this day, as many are away on summer vacation or have a scheduling conflict. But we still had a good turnout for our celebration.
My son’s 11th birthday was the beginning of something amazing last year! About two months before his birthday, he began asking me to buy him the Lego MBA for his birthday. When I researched this learning program, I fell in love with the genius of teaching kids with Legos! It opened my eyes that Legos were far more than just a toy to build with. Legos and the Lego MBA program are wonderful teaching tool for kids to learn with.
As my son began building with it, I realized all three of my older children would enjoy learning with it too. It is awesome! We ordered an additional Lego MBA program for our 9 year old son and promised the next son that we would get it for his 7th birthday in a few more months. It is a $99 investment to buy levels 1 and 2 (level three is available also) and when buying for several children it feels like a huge investment. The second son enjoyed it as much as his older brother. They thought their friends would enjoy it too, so I began telling other homeschool families in our local community about the Lego MBA learning kits. From there I was inspired to start a club for kids who loved learning with Legos and Robots.
Per special request (he can’t resist my special requests), and in honor of this 1 year achievement, my husband built a wonderful downhill race track. It is 16 feet long. He worked many longs hours building it and it turned out awesome!
He had asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and my response was “a race track and party for our club”. Hum….strange request for Mother’s Day I know, but… I just love my kids so much that I wanted something super duper special to share with them.
My husband was a gem! He got to work on the track, (right after a couple of nights and a weekend cleaning up the garage so he had a place to work…ahem…).
Then he had all three of our older boys (ages 7, 9, and 11) help him build it. They worked on it a few nights after he got home from work, and a few weekends and finished it just in time to have a great party with it. It is awesome!
It can race three cars at once. The race track has a special starting gate and a finish line. The starting gate is a combination of dow rods, and springs, and a lever. It has slots that hold three cars and allows them to all start at the same time when the lever is pushed down. I am so proud of the craftsmanship and details he put into this project.
Show and Tell
Show and Tell was all about custom Lego race cars. Each kid shared about the race car they created for the race today. For the past year, all these great kids have been working their way through Level 1 (kits 1,2,3) and Level 2 (kits 4, 5, 6) of the Lego MBA program. So we decided to use the building techniques we have learned and the project ideas in kit 6, “race cars”, as our focus for our celebration.
We did the Show and Tell portion of our meeting at the beginning today, rather than at the end like we usually do, because we wanted to see all these great race car creations, before they raced down hill and possibly crashed into pieces! Oh yea of little faith!
The kids were able to build any Lego race car they wanted. They could use Lego MBA or any Legos they choose. They were welcome to modify other race car kits, or come up with something completely original.
However, they were encouraged to use the building techniques they had learned through out the Lego MBA program and especially the techniques in kit 6 that focused specifically on race cars. They were also asked to stay within a 3 inch to 3 1/2 inch width so their car could easily roll down the race track lanes.
After seeing all these cars, and hearing all the special features each kid put into their creations, this was sure to be a challenging race today!
The Pass For The Race Car Drivers
Everyone needs a pass to get into the races, right? And drivers need their own special pass! These passes pictured above are Lego Race VIP passes for the kids to wear for our downhill race. One of the moms in our club designed the pass on her computer and emailed it to me. I had the passes printed at Staples office supply store. I picked them up, and my kids helped me cut each one out. The other mom purchased the lanyard straps with a clip at the dollar store, and the badge pockets at Walmart. And wallah, a terrific and wearable VIP pass! How neat is that? These are so cool. The parents filled them out at the party. There is a place for each child’s name, age, and the information about today’s celebration. The kids wore them for the race and through out the party, and were able to take them home as a keepsake.
After Show And Tell, the kids came to the race track to do some practice runs with their cars. This was a good opportunity for the kids to see if their cars needed modifications before the actual race.
It also gave them a chance to see if they built their cars sturdy enough and with the right techniques so they didn’t all apart going down the track. Lego MBA taught the kids several design techniques to accomplish these goals.
These practice runs also gave the adults a chance to see who’s cars were built similar in weight and abilities. When it came time for the actual race, we were able to pair up race cars with similar race times.
Then they raced three times down the track, each time eliminating the slower car, until eventually we had three winners. This was really exciting.
They narrowed the finalists down to the three fastest cars for a final race against each other. First place in on the right, second place in the middle, and third place is on the left in the photo above. It maybe hard to see, but two of the three final cars that won, were built from the Lego MBA kit 6. All three winning cars were made from the kids own designs or modifications to designs they read about in kit 6. It was really important to build their cars using these techniques so they had proper wheel clearance, were proportionately balanced, and didn’t fall apart on the race track. It is so cool how much these kids have learned this past year!
Fellowship and Refreshments
On the menu is PIZZA! We had three kinds (pepperoni, hamburger, and cheese) to choose from. We also had raw vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers, cauliflower) and dip, cheese, cheese log, several kinds of crackers, cookies, brownies, m&m’s, marshmallow pops, chocolate donut “tires”, and a Lego cake. We had several kinds of fruit juice and bottled water for drinks.
The food and fellowship is a definately highlight to our day. We love eating and sharing this time together.
Decorations & Setup
The decorations for our party were a combination of items I found at different stores ( Walmart, Dollar Tree, Mighty Dollar, and online at Oriental Trading and Amazon). I found inflatable tires, checkered flags, oil cans, gas cans, race cars, balloons (black, white, and red), gloves, tire gages, oil rags, oil pans, checkered flag banners for the race track and ceiling, tons of prizes and gifts, and so many fun decorations to brighten up our party.
I used several colors and checkered patterns including: bold red, bold blue, bold yellow, black, white, red and white checks, and black and white checks color combinations for the decorations and table ware. We hung a checkered flag banner from the ceiling tiles and along the race track too.
I set up four stations, made Lego racing theme signs for each station, and assigned a parent to help out at each station. The stations were: Pit Stop: Fuel; Pit Stop: Oil; Hall Of Fame; and the Winners Circle.
Pit Stop: Fuel (food),
Besides food, this table was decorated with gas cans, gas funnels, and race cars.
Pit Stop: Oil (drinks),
Besides the drinks, this table was decorated with race cars, oil cans, oil funnels, oil filters, and oil pans. We used oil pans filled with ice to keep the drinks cold.
Hall Of Fame (desert tables decorated with pictures of the club’s accomplishments).
Well, my poster was missing. I had it all planned out for the Hall Of Fame, and had ordered a collage poster of activities we had done during the year. This poster picture was “in route” for too long, and finally got delivered the same day, by the Fed Ex man, but it was when I got home from the party that afternoon. Arrrrrrggggggh!
Besides a whole bunch of yummy deserts, this table quickly became two tables and they were decorated with red and white checkered plates and napkins, black/red/white balloons, and so much yummy goodness!
The pictures below show off three of the fun treats we enjoyed that had a “race theme” or a “Lego theme”: chocolate donuts that looked like tires, a Lego cake, and Lego minifigure head pops.
These chocolate donuts were a gift to our club from manager Steve at the local Dunkin Donuts. He is a great supporter of kids learning about engineering. His son is graduating from highschool, and is a young engineer very interested in Legos and robotics and engineering. This summer he is on an engineering summer program. Though he is not in our club and is ready to go on to college, he has done a lot of learning adventures like ours in the past. When Steve heard about our club and our celebration party, he graciously offered to make “tire” donuts for us and show his support of our program. Thank you Steve!
The mom who created the VIP passes also made a Lego cake. This is so cute and fun to eat.
Another mom made these fun marshmallow Lego Minifigure Head Pops. These are made by skewering marshmallows and dipping the marshmallows into white chocolate tinted with yellow food coloring. Then piping on the face. She also made some heads without the skewer and used the yellow colored “dip” as a hat. So CUTE!
Winner’s Circle (prizes, trophies, goodie bags).
This table was loaded with prizes! See the pictures below in PRIZES to see a close up of some of the prizes we gave away……..
We had so many great prizes at our party today. We had prizes for everyone, plus special prizes for the winners of our down hill race.
Every child took home prizes.
Some of the prizes included:
3D race car puzzles (these become a race car that has rolling wheels).
racing puzzles (24 piece, 48 piece, and 100 piece puzzles)
racing board games
racing card games
pull back race cars
tires that are eraser / pencil sharpeners (see picture of tires on table above)
race car pencil case kits with matching ruler, eraser, pencil, and sharpener
The three winners with the three fastest cars got the first pick of prizes from the list above, plus they each took home a trophy to commemorate the day. Then the rest of the kids got to pick out a prize of their choice to take home. Everyone is a winner!
Finally, each kid received a wonderful racing theme goodie bag to take home. Inside each bag was three kinds of candy, pencils, tire eraser sharpeners, bubbles, tire disk flingers, 3D eraser puzzle cars, and a sheet of race car stickers.
Check out this video of the down hill Lego race:
I will always remember the fun we had today, and the fun we have had the whole year through. My kids have sure enjoyed learning and building with Legos, robots, science and engineering, making new friends, and learning about each of the families who join us each month in these adventures.
All these great kids have been a special highlight in my life this past year. Each and everyone of them is special. I am sure they will go on to reach their full potential in their bright futures. They are all blessed!
This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Feasting In Fellowship
We are planning a fun race theme for our upcoming Lego and Robotics Academy program. I have big dreams on a tiny budget! So, given that my ideas are bigger than my wallet, I have been researching online how we can plan a Lego race car party for minimal expense.
I thought it would be fun to post about several resources I found online on how to build a Lego car of your own. Some are built with kits and some are just built from the imagination and various Lego pieces.
We have been working in the Lego MBA curriculum for the past 10 months (kits 1-6) and most of our club kids are beginning this final kit #6. So we thought it would be a lot of fun to have a party with a racing theme to celebrate! We will show you how this all turned out in a future story in the Lego and Robotics Academy category of stories. We will also show you how we built a race car using kit 6 in a future Lego MBA story, so check both of those categories on the side bar for lots of more Lego FUN!
Kit 6 of Lego MBA level 2 has a race car theme. The kids will learn several building techniques in this kit and build three different race car models, plus a challenge model they design by themselves using the building skills and techniques they have learned.
Video of my kids racing Lego vehicals down a slide in the living room.
Lego MBA (Level 2 Kit 6) F1 Racer and Lego City 4 wheeler
But if you don’t have this kit, no worries mate! If you’ve got wheels, you can probably build your own race car from the parts you have on hand.
Spending a little time researching this theme, I have found several building plans and videos about Lego race cars. Check out these great resources to spark your creativity and get you started. If you need to turn down the volume of the music on the videos, feel free to do so. You can get some great ideas from these projects (videos, building plans, news stories, online games, etc.) listed below.
Creative Lego Racing Ideas
Lego Sports Car tutorial:
Lego Sports Car
Lego Creator Sports Car 5867
How To Make A Lego Race Car
Lego Sport Champions F1 Racing
Lego Car Collection
Lego Race Car Crash
Amazing race track. This kid has built lots of amazing things! His room full of Legos is mind-bogling! Be sure to check out his other Lego videos too.
Lego Pinewood Derby Car Upgraded
Lego Car Race
Lego Car Race at Disney
Check out these links for more great ideas to spark your creativity:
Lego Digital Designer design and build a race car online.
Lego Speed Racer building plans 8159 hosted at Lets Build It Again.
Lego Speed Racer building plans 8158 hosted at Lets Build It Again.
Lego Slammer Dragster building plans 8238 hosted at Lets Build It Again.
Lego Rubber Band Race Car building plans hosted at Kids Make Stuff.
Lego Car building plans hosted at E-How.
Lego Balloon Race Car building plans made by Davis Creek Elementary School.
Online Lego Race Car Game
How to make a Lego Race car travel at 25 miles per hour.
Do you know of any great Lego race car ideas or building plans? Please leave a comment below, thank you!
Each child took turns volunteering to build different steps in the project until it was all complete. The program on the computer was set to turn the motor, play a tweeting sound, turn the motor, play a tweeting sound and repeats over and over. The kids also criss-crossed the rope to make the birds dance and twirl in opposite directions, and then used a small pulley on one side to speed up one of the birds, and then switched to the other side. Next the kids divided into two teams for a design and build challenge. Each team was given a problem and design challenge to solve. We combined techniques we have learned in our Lego MBA to help us complete this challenge. Here is what we did: Lego and Robotics Academy March 20, 2012 Design & Building Challenge Team ONE & Team TWO Lego City, Lego in the USA has just been struck by a tornado. Also towns all around Lego City have been severely damaged too. Several Lego people have died in the storm and several are still missing and buried under the storm debrie. There is no electricity, food, or water able to get to the damaged areas. Homes and businesses have been destroyed and the whole city is in chaos. Create a useful vehicles to help Lego City in this crisis. Use the Building Techniques you have learned from the Lego MBA program. The vehicles must be able to help with the manpower needed to find missing Lego people, and also haul supplies needed to help people rebuild their lives in the damaged areas. Some of the supplies that might be needed: emergency Lego food, water, first aide, lumber, tools, and rescue workers. All of the needed Legos and materials to complete the challenge, are in the container provided. You have 40 minutes to design and build your projects. 1 point earned for using Lego MBA techniques in your model. Alternative Uses (using a piece in a different way than its original use) Micro build Small Elements (making the best possible use of the smallest possible pieces) Locking Technique (locking two or more bricks together with one that lies across them) Sideways Building Technique (build out to add more details and shapes) Symmetrical Building (building a mirror image that matches on both sides) Completed drawing on Lego Brick Paper of your design. Each team worked together to build their projects. They took a few minutes to discuss their plan, and make their design drawings of their projects on Lego brick paper. Team ONE (8 kids) built: A rescue helicopter that could transport the injured or lift and move heavy objects. Two ATV type vehicles that could help, one hauled the other vehicles and one vehicles was small and able to maneuver into tight places. Team TWO (7 kids) built: A rescue truck and loaded it with food, water, tools, and supplies. A fire truck with tons of special features able to haul tools and able to provide assistance to rescue workers, and pull a trailer with a remote controlled roving robot to hunt for survivors. A remote controlled roving robot that sent signals to the fire truck to let them know they have found someone buried under debrie and where to find them. SHOW and TELL Finally, the kids ate refreshments and dismissed. They had their choice of refreshments and shared cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, animal cookies, granola bars, juice, and water. It was such a beautiful day, many kids played outside while parents visited after the meeting ended. I just love all these kids too. We had 15 club kids present today plus 6 kids of various ages who are not in the club, and 10 parents. That’s a whopping 21 kids! All of these kids are just so cute! So smart! Each one is unique and special. They are all so eager to learn. My kids were so excited coming home and that makes me happy. “Mom, why are you so happy? Mom, thanks for a great meeting today. Mom, can we do it again next week? Mom, we need to do Lego meetings everyday! Mom,…..? Mom, …….?” Ok, Ok, you get the point. Kids just go on and on when they are excited. Not only was it great for kids, but it was great medicine for mom too! Are parents supposed to enjoy Legos? I mean uh, er, eh, are Legos supposed to lift the countenance of adults as it does for children? Could Legos be a remedy for various situations (boredom, sad, illness, loneliness, cabin fever, creative block, etc.)? Well I think this is a subject to be explored some more!
What a blast the Lego and Robotics Academy meeting was for March! Spring is in the air. The kids were so excited, and ….well….. I .…was super fired up too. It was such a terrific meeting!
LEGO AND ROBOTICS ACADEMY
We started our meeting out with a short business meeting. The president (age 11) opened the meeting, the vice president (age 10) introduced the visitors, and the secretary treasurer (age 11) gave an update.
Then we started our program WeDo from Lego Education. Today the kids learned to make the Dancing Birds robotic project.
The kids learned how the motor turns the vertical axel and a gear turns a horizontal axel. A pulley and rope turn another pulley which turns the second horizontal axel and gear and vertical axel turning the second bird.
We made a couple of videos of the finished project in action.
This is Dancing Bird video #1
This is Dancing Bird video #2
We are learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through these hands on activities. If you would like to learn what goes on in the curriculum of WeDo Lego Education, read more stories posted here . If you would like to learn more about the Lego MBA curriculum, read here . If you would like to read more stories about our Lego and Robotics Academy meetings, read here .
DESIGN & BUILD CHALLENGE
Total possible points for challenge = 6 .
Then kids pared up on each team to build a segment of a rescue or supply vehicles ready to help serve the needs of the people hit by the tornado in Lego City. Each team built three vehicles.
A rescue truck that brought in rescue workers and hauled supplies. The truck was hauling tools, a wheel barrow, a fire man and had a crane for lifting heavy objects.
Next, the kids held a show and tell with their Lego MBA projects they have been working on. Fourteen of the kids from our club participated in this today. Each child took three minutes to tell us about their project. I’ll showcase the show and tell from today in another story, as I have soooooo many pictures I have already posted in this story from today.
Through out the meeting several parents pitched in and helped. Some brought refreshments to share.
Several parents took turns holding and playing with my baby, and helped monitor my toddler and preschooler, so I could teach the lessons. Some of the parents assisted with the building competition, helping the kids work as a team. After the meeting, parents helped clean and put away tables and chairs, and some helped watch the kids playing outside. Evertything flowed smoothly, and I didn’t have to worry about it. I was free to teach, take pictures, and able to focus on the tasks at hand. I am thankful to have all of these wonderful families in our club.
But, one of our kid club members is absolutely refreshing to my soul. He is always so loving and considerate of me and my family, and always has lots of questions. His questions today were: “Miss Melinda, what does your baby eat? When will he be big enough to eat food? How old is he? How long will he drink milk? Here is some special water for you to help you baby after the meeting.” I told him it was the sweetest most refreshing water we had ever had. How thoughtful of him to think that I would be thirsty, or the baby would be thirsty. Then he stumped me… “Miss Melinda, if you drink all the water, how will your baby get the water?” Oops, we will save that conversation for a future day, when his mom says its ok!
Here it is a gorgeous spring day, the first day of spring as a matter of fact, and temperatures are 78 degrees and sunny. Learning with Legos and playing with your friends on a day like today is a remedy! You just have to smile.
Each child took turns volunteering to build different steps in the project until it was all complete.
The program on the computer was set to turn the motor, play a tweeting sound, turn the motor, play a tweeting sound and repeats over and over. The kids also criss-crossed the rope to make the birds dance and twirl in opposite directions, and then used a small pulley on one side to speed up one of the birds, and then switched to the other side.
Next the kids divided into two teams for a design and build challenge. Each team was given a problem and design challenge to solve. We combined techniques we have learned in our Lego MBA to help us complete this challenge. Here is what we did:
Lego and Robotics Academy
March 20, 2012
Design & Building Challenge
Team ONE & Team TWO
Lego City, Lego in the USA has just been struck by a tornado. Also towns all around Lego City have been severely damaged too. Several Lego people have died in the storm and several are still missing and buried under the storm debrie. There is no electricity, food, or water able to get to the damaged areas. Homes and businesses have been destroyed and the whole city is in chaos.
Create a useful vehicles to help Lego City in this crisis. Use the Building Techniques you have learned from the Lego MBA program. The vehicles must be able to help with the manpower needed to find missing Lego people, and also haul supplies needed to help people rebuild their lives in the damaged areas. Some of the supplies that might be needed: emergency Lego food, water, first aide, lumber, tools, and rescue workers.
All of the needed Legos and materials to complete the challenge, are in the container provided.
You have 40 minutes to design and build your projects.
1 point earned for using Lego MBA techniques in your model.
Alternative Uses (using a piece in a different way than its original use)
Micro build Small Elements (making the best possible use of the smallest possible pieces)
Locking Technique (locking two or more bricks together with one that lies across them)
Sideways Building Technique (build out to add more details and shapes)
Symmetrical Building (building a mirror image that matches on both sides)
Completed drawing on Lego Brick Paper of your design.
Each team worked together to build their projects. They took a few minutes to discuss their plan, and make their design drawings of their projects on Lego brick paper.
Team ONE (8 kids) built:
A rescue helicopter that could transport the injured or lift and move heavy objects.
Two ATV type vehicles that could help, one hauled the other vehicles and one vehicles was small and able to maneuver into tight places.
Team TWO (7 kids) built:
A rescue truck and loaded it with food, water, tools, and supplies.
A fire truck with tons of special features able to haul tools and able to provide assistance to rescue workers, and pull a trailer with a remote controlled roving robot to hunt for survivors.
A remote controlled roving robot that sent signals to the fire truck to let them know they have found someone buried under debrie and where to find them.
SHOW and TELL
Finally, the kids ate refreshments and dismissed. They had their choice of refreshments and shared cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, animal cookies, granola bars, juice, and water. It was such a beautiful day, many kids played outside while parents visited after the meeting ended.
I just love all these kids too. We had 15 club kids present today plus 6 kids of various ages who are not in the club, and 10 parents. That’s a whopping 21 kids! All of these kids are just so cute! So smart! Each one is unique and special. They are all so eager to learn.
My kids were so excited coming home and that makes me happy. “Mom, why are you so happy? Mom, thanks for a great meeting today. Mom, can we do it again next week? Mom, we need to do Lego meetings everyday! Mom,…..? Mom, …….?”
Ok, Ok, you get the point. Kids just go on and on when they are excited. Not only was it great for kids, but it was great medicine for mom too! Are parents supposed to enjoy Legos? I mean uh, er, eh, are Legos supposed to lift the countenance of adults as it does for children? Could Legos be a remedy for various situations (boredom, sad, illness, loneliness, cabin fever, creative block, etc.)? Well I think this is a subject to be explored some more!
Yes, Aaaaahhhhh, It was refreshing. Yes, oooohhhh this mamma was so impressed with the creativity, the team work, the kindness, and the specialness of all these beautiful kids.
This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123
Want a great product to spice up your homeschool learning? I would recommend giving Lego MBA a try. You can buy level 1 (kits 1-3) and level 2 (kits 4-6) for $99 plus shipping. It equals 10 months of wholesome learning and creative fun. It is a good deal.
There is a whole lot of learning taking place when students sit down to work through their Lego MBA. All kinds of skills are learned and practiced using the Lego MBA product. For example, gross and fine motor skills are used in the design phase and as bricks are connected and taken apart. Some dis-connections require the use of the brick separator that we received in kit 1.
Students also use and practice reading skills as they work their way through the design handbook. Observation skills are put into practice as they take note of the steps to achieve the designs and implement the building process. Math is used in counting, calculating, sorting (shapes, sizes, colors), and making patterns and spatial relationships. Science and Technology are involved as the student creates models of products used everyday to meet needs in our everyday lives. It is also used in hypothesizing the design of a model, then building it, then re-designing or changing areas of the model to be productive, such as opening a door with a hinge. Creativity is involved in completing the design challenge phases of each kit.
Perhaps in the future, we will extend our learning of various subjects and be inclined to include a Lego MBA building project in our unit studies too. For example, it would be great fun to build the Spaceship model as we study traveling into space, or the Rocket model as we study flight, fuel, aerodynamics, and gravity, etc.
LEGO MBA Level 1 Kit 2
I am teaching three of my kids about design and engineering and furthering our STEM learning with the Lego MBA product this school year. Their ages are 11, 9, and 7 years old.
I am also teaching the Lego MBA and using various Lego projects to further learning and in our Lego and Robotics Academy 4H Club. Many of the children in our club bring in their Lego MBA projects for show and tell. We also have design challenges during some meetings. We split the kids into two teams and give them a challenge to solve and build. The teams get points for using the techniques they learned in Lego MBA. I will write a story about this soon.
This is the third story in our Lego MBA series. For a complete picture of what this program is all about, and how we are using it to further our learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), be sure to read all the related stories posted here and in our Lego and Robotics Academy 4H Club stories.
Level 1 Kit 1
Level 1 Kit 2
Level 1 Kit 3
Level 2 Kit 4
Level 2 Kit 5
Level 2 Kit 6
Kit 2 comes with a new set of 222 Lego bricks and shapes, mini figure accessories, and a new curriculum handbook. Projects in Kit 2 include Airport, Race Track, and a Shuttle Launch.
The theme in Kit 2 is Micobuild Designer. Microbuilding is the art of building in microscale; models are scaled down to a micro size. Most Lego models are built in a minifigure scale. But microscale is a tiny version of the minifigure model.
Each kit in the Lego MBA program builds on the learning methods of the previous kit. Check out the earlier stories to learn what vocabulary words, building and design techniques we learned before, and are continuing to use.
In Kit 2, the student learns additional techniques such as: “Size Scaling” taking something big and making it small; “Small Elements” using the smallest Lego shapes that can be used in various ways to make small details (ex. use 1 x 1 round plate for micro wheels, 1 x 1 clear plates for windows); “Moving Function” using a small hinge to allow movement; “Streamlined Surfaces” created by using flat tiles with no studs on top; “Building In Sections” to create sturdy and stable sections separately that you connect later in the building process.
Projects we completed in Level 1 Kit 2:
Project 1 Airport with an Airplane, Bus, and Loading Ramp.
Project 2 Race Track, Race Car
Here the 7 year old is working on his micro build race track. He is super excited about building with his older brothers.
Project 3 Space Launch Center and Space Shuttle.
The shuttle is sitting on the launch pad.
Space Center after the shuttle launched. The boys had so much fun playing with
each of these models they built.
Microbuild Design Challenge
The challenge in Lego MBA Kit 2 involves designing a minifigure scale model on brick paper, then reducing its size (scaling it down), to be a microbuild size.
First, you think of something you want to build, such as a boat model or a plane. Then on paper decide how many bricks wide it will be and design it. Then reduce it by 1/2, or however much you want to reduce it. So if it was 6 brick wide, perhaps now it is only 3 brick wide and you re-draw it on this smaller scale. Then build it.
Lego MBA gives an example of building a minifigure rocket and reducing it to a microscale model on Lego brick paper. Their example started out as 27 squares long and 6 squares wide. By reducing it to 1/3 of its original size, it becomes 9 squares long and 2 squares wide.
Here is the microbuild fighter jet my 11 year old son designed and built for this challenge. It was six studs long, and two studs wide for the body, two more studs long for the nose tip, and eight studs wide for the wings. It was very tiny!
Here is a microbuild grain and bread factory designed by my 9 year old with help from the 11 year old. It was a collaborative project. I am amazed they did this. It has a grain hopper, a factory, smoke stacks, loading docks, semi – trucks and a grain wagon to haul the grain to the factory and finished bread away from the factory. Good job guys!
Thanks for joining us!
Be sure to read our next post in the Lego MBA series and find out what we are learning about in Lego MBA Level 1 Kit 3.
This post will be linked up with
ABC and 123
No Time For Flashcards
We are using the Lego MBA program in both our homeschool and in our local Lego and Robotics Academy 4H club to further our learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Be sure to read the Lego MBA introductory story to learn about this wonderful educational program. This is the second story in our Lego MBA series.
Level 1 Kit 1
Level 1 Kit 2
Level 1 Kit 3
Level 2 Kit 4
Level 2 Kit 5
Level 2 Kit 6
When the Lego MBA Kit 1 arrived, and our son was so excited. He could not wait to open it up.
He had wanted this for his 11th birthday. He had researched it, and presented his request to us. After checking it out, we agreed this would be a good project for him to learn with. He was so proud of it when it arrived.
Level 1 Kit 1 came with a storage box and sorting tray, construction bricks and design peices, a brick seperator, a lego mini figure, mini figure accessories, and an 83 page curriculum manual filled with blue prints for three models, vocabulary, design paper, building techniques, tips, and more.
One really special aspect of Lego MBA are the notes from the designers (Master Builders) included in the program. The creators of each model take time to share with you special techniques they use and teach you many insights that normal Lego kits don’t have.
The building theme in Kit 1 is Space Designer. It includes the detailed blueprints for building three spaceship designs: Helicraft, Rocket, Space Fighter. Once the student learns the methods for building these three models, they are challenged to build their own creations using the techniques they learned.
Techniques taught in Kit 1 are: “Locking” which helps create strength and stability; “Sideways Building” which allows you to build outwards and improves details and the shape of the models; “Symetrical” parts on both sides of the model that match or are a mirror image of each other; “Model Function” a part that moves for a reason; “Detailing” adding shapes and decorations at the end of building the model.
In addition to learning specific building techniques, the student also learns the names of, and ways to use, specific buildng pieces such as studs, erling brick, technic pin, arch, wheel core, plates, clip plate, bow, hinge, 1 x2 , 1 x 3, 1 x 4, 2 x 2, 2 x 4, and so on.
Kit 1 Project 1 Helicraft Model.
Kit 1 Project 2 Rocket.
Kit 1 Project 3 Space Fighter.
Space Design Challenge
The challenge in this kit is to have the student build a space ship using the techniques of “Locking” and Sideways Building” that they learned from building the models and reading the book.
Have ready some Lego brick graph paper (copy from the back of the book or print as a download from website), sharpened pencils, erasers, colored pencils, and various Lego bricks and shapes.
Decide how many bricks wide and long you want your spaceship to be. Draw possible spaceship designs using simple shapes like squares triangles and circles, drawn onto Lego brick graph paper. You can use templates, rulers, compas, to create shapes. You can also trace items around the house to create shapes.
Build the model you have created on Lego brick paper using the techniques you learned in your kit.
Here is the Space Patrol Ship created by my 11 yr old son as his Design Challenge project.
Be sure to read all our Lego MBA stories about each kit and what we learned.
Learning With The Brick
We have been
playing er I mean learning with Lego MBA for this entire school year. Think Legos are just a toy? Well, let me set you straight! There is a whole lot you can do with this little plastic brick.
Yahoo! Thats awesome! HOLD THE PHONE….she said what????? She said “We have been learning with Lego MBA this entire school year!”
Yep! Ya heard right! We have been using various Lego products to enhance our learning. One really special product we included this school year was Lego MBA.
Legos have so many different products that it is almost mind boggling to wade through it all. But don’t let it fool you just because it is on the toy isle. No matter which Lego product you choose, each project comes with lots of construction bricks of different sizes, shapes, colors, and some have special features and mini figures. And each project comes with blue prints.
What can be more educational than being given a set of instructions and learning to follow it to recreate the project? This is the basic process and understanding needed to replicate recipes, science experiments, learn spelling, take tests, and numerous other educational projects we give to kids.
And then there is the aspect of being creative, just taking a bunch of parts and creating something amazing with them using your own ideas. Again, another method we want kids to learn and we use this in engineering, design, inventions, entrepreneurship, writing stories, and so much more.
Legos can actually help us teach these methods in a fun way and our kids will actually get better at this process and I believe will do better in life in the long run too.
When my oldest son was turning 11, he asked if we could buy him the Lego MBA program for his birthday. I do have some moral objections to some of the Lego products. My main objection to some of the Lego products is that I don’t want my kids to play with items that deal with sorcery and witchcraft. So I like to look at things the kids want and pray about it before proceeding.
After checking into it, Lego MBA seemed like it was a wholesome product and would be good for all the kids to learn. We initially invested in the program for two of our kids, the 11 year old and the 9 year old.
When the product started arriving, we were so impressed that we told several of our homeschool friends about it and started a club for everyone who wanted to join and do the Lego MBA with us. Last July, we turned our club into the Lego and Robotics Academy 4H Club for kids ages 7-18. You can read stories about our club here.
This January, my third son turned 7, and officially joined our 4H club. He was overjoyed to finally be a member and get his very own Lego MBA kit. Yes it is true, we now have three sons working through the Lego MBA program.
Lego MBA stands for Lego Master Builder Academy. It is a building program designed to help you understand the process of design and engineering with Legos.
Lego MBA currently has two levels and includes a total of 6 kits. Level 1 has 3 kits and Level 2 has 3 kits. They are developing a Level 3 for this coming year, but we don’t have any details on it yet.
Lego MBA is available for sale in two parts from the Lego website. You can purchase Level 1 kit 1 for $29 and then purchase the remaining products as a one time subscription which includes Level 1 kits 2-3 and Level 2 kits 4-6 for $69.
This is how it works when you buy both parts. Lego immediately mails kit 1 to you, then a month later they mail kit 2, then every other month they mail one of the remaining kits. Altogether it takes about 10 months to complete the program. If you purchase both parts together, the cost is $99 plus shipping.
Each kit comes with a book of curriculum and a building pack of bricks and special parts, and mini figure accessories. Each level also comes with a mini-figure. Kit 1 comes with a special box and sorting tray that holds all the curriculum and parts. Each time a new kit arrives, my kids pull out their box and add the new book and parts to it. It is a handy place to store everything.
Each kit teaches new techniques in design and engineering. There are new vocabulary words and new techniques to practice. There is also an online part of the program where kids complete a to-do list and receive a download printable diploma at the end of mastering each kit and the to-do list.
Each kit builds three models and two challenge models. So that is about 30 models(18 teaching models learning techniques + 12 teaching creativity using the techniques) your child learns to build by the end of the program.
Check out this video about Lego MBA that I found on You Tube.
So I got this idea that maybe you would like to follow along and see the projects the kids make in their Lego MBA studies. I don’t know why I didn’t think to publish these stories before. I take pictures constantly of all the kids are doing. Life just seems to have a way of happening and lots of my ideas and stories get set on the back burner. I wish I had set up a plan to do this program with our readers, and your kids could have joined with us online as my boys built and learned with each kit. But, I still think it is worth posting the stories and doing the kits again. The 11 and 9 year olds are currently in kit 5 and the 7 year old is in kit 2 as I write this post. But for the sake of writing these posts we will start again at the beginning.
I’ll post the stories, and link them here on this master list. So join us won’t you?
Level 1 kit 1
Level 1 kit 2
Level 1 kit 3
Level 2 kit 4
Level 2 kit 5
Level 2 kit 6