Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories! Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids. This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning. Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!
Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards. In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark. The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8. As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.
God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth. Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it. He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal, seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.
God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood. He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds. God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth. But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God. God gave Noah the plan. He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals. His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.
Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before. They did not care about doing right. They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins. They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God. They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.
If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections. Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use. Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too. You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.
Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?, build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too. There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.
Your kids will really enjoy this activity. In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.
Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:
Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible
Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer
Arts and Crafts
Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story
If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version. You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.
You can choose from several languages and several versions to use. They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.
David and Goliath Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop.
We had a great time learning about robotics, physics, faith, and retelling a story using Legos at homeschool coop.
I chose the bible passage of 1 Samuel 17 for our lesson. This bible passage is about David going to visit his brothers who were in the Israelite Army. They were on the front lines in a battle against the Philistines. The Philistine Army had a warrior named Goliath. He was a giant of a man standing very tall and he was very strong and covered in metal plated armour, and no-one could defeat him in battle. He often said bad things to the Israelite Army and made fun of their God. He challenged them to a fight and if they could defeat him, his army would be their slaves, but if he defeated the Israelite who fought him, then the Israelite Army would be the slaves of the Philistines. David overheard this challenge and the horrible things Goliath said against God. David saw that everyone in the army was afraid, but he was not afraid and knew God would help him defeat the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God. David accepted the challenge to fight Goliath. He trusted in the Lord to help him. He chose five flat stones from a river bed and put one of the stones in his sling, swung it around, and let the stone go into the air. He had learned to fight off animals like wolves, lions, and bears that tried to attack his flock of sheep so he was very good with the sling shot. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead and killed him. David had trusted in God to deliver him from Goliath, and he defeated the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God.
The kids used Lego’s to retell the story. We also set up a robotic Goliath with Lego WeDo. The Goliath robot is built with Legos, pulley gears, worm gear, lever, motor, axle, and movable joints. The kids programmed the computer software program to tell Goliath to stand up and to sit / fall down. They can time his movements and change the speed, as well as program sound effects. They had Goliath stand up and growl his threats to the Army, programmed the sound of David, and his stone hitting Goliath, and then also programmed cheering by the Army after Goliath is hit with the stone and falls forward. It is really neat how you can program sound effects to go along with the robot’s movements.
Everyone took turns manipulating the computer software and retelling the story with Legos. They also take apart the giant and rearrange the location of motorized lever attachment to learn how placing this in different positions, and rearranging the software commands caused the giant to move (or not move). They could re-engineer the set up and try out different ideas. They also completed a coloring page about the battle between David and Goliath and a vocabulary word puzzle.
We also did some physics science in the gym. We used rubber bands for sling shots. We used a large basket placed several feet away on the floor as the target. We took different kinds of balls (cotton, pompoms, foam, and rubber) to learn what materials would be more accurate to hit a target. The kids learned about trajectory, mass, stored energy, kinetic energy, and how to aim at a target. They learned that the more dense their ball was, and the further back they pulled their sling shot, the better and faster the object was able to hit the target. The kids also spent time playing in the gym. They played basketball, tag, hide and seek, and raced each other all around. The gym is such a great place to do a variety of learning, skill building, and physical activities.
Logos are a great teaching / learning tool that can be used in so many fun ways. I love teaching and learning with Legos. I have taught Lego and Robotics Academy Club and several workshops with homeschool and 4H kids in North Carolina for several years, and I have missed it terribly since moving last summer. I hope in the near future I will be able to host Learn It Build It workshops again in the community, and also start a Lego and Robotics club again and perhaps eventually have teams that can compete in First Lego League. But right now, started a new class called Lego Adventures and I am blessed the local homeschool coop has invited me to teach these great kids, and we can learn about science-technology-engineering, and robotics, and use bible stories to build their faith in the Lord. Be sure to check back each month for more Lego Adventures.
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 inchwidth 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
flash lights 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!
When my third son turned 7 in January, he became an official member of the Lego and Robotics Academy 4H club. The club members are ages 7-18. Siblings can attend, play quietly, and watch. But he is no longer an observer. Now he actually gets to participate. He has been overjoyed to say the least. He looks forward to the next meeting all month long. He received a dinosaur set for his birthday and took it to his first club meeting for Show and Tell.
Given his new found “member” status, and his love of dinosaurs and Legos, this same 7 year old son came to me and said “Mom, can we do a dinosaur theme for our Lego club competition?” I don’t know what I was thinking when I said “Sure son, I will see what I can do to create a dinosaur program for our club.” For months I have banged my head on the wall trying to figure out how to make this happen. I questioned myself “Had I spoke to soon?” I said that fateful “Sure” almost six months ago, and month after month, I “wasn’t sure” how to make it happen. Finally, July was our opening for the dinosaurs.
I have never ever met a kid that didn’t like dinosaurs. They are fascinating creatures. We have learned much about them, yet in the larger scheme of life and history, we know so little about them. Still much of what we think we know is conjecture and speculation.
Over the past several hundred years, man has uncovered bones, teeth, claws, poop, eggs, and has tried to piece together a picture of these monsters from the past. My children and I have read books, watched videos, and watched some of the re-creation programs on the Discovery channel over the past few years, where historians, palenientologists, archeologists and film makers have come together to try to recreate the “land of the dinosaurs”. We have also compared what we hear and learn from these programs to the bible and biblical dinosaur experts from places like the Creation Museum in Kentucky and in Texas. Still, no matter how much we know, don’t know, and guess, we find these creatures mysterious and fascinating.
Today’s 4H Club Meeting Agenda & Plans:
You are a designer/engineer wanting to create a dinosaur Lego and robotic model based on clues from the animals that lived in the past, and from ideas of current technology. Observe the “land of the dinosaurs”. Pick them up, touch, looking closely at details, etc. Draw your own dinosaur creation on Lego Brick Paper Observe a technogaget toy dinosaur robot that transforms from dinosaurs of the past into a fast car of the present. Build a T-Rex Lego Creations Dinosaur Go exploring and dig in sand pits like archeologists for lots of different kinds of dinosaurs. Re-create a “land of the dinosaurs” using the ideas of paleontologists, the dinosaurs from the sand pit dig, and the Lego dinosaur you built.
We had a short business meeting. Today was a little different as we had a substitute president who openend the meeting, and a substitute vice president who introduced visitors and new club members (our president and vice president were not able to be there today). The secretary went over “stuff” we have going on such as our Raffle Fundraiser, and upcoming 4H Animal Showmanship Clinic, and the upcoming projects for the NC Mountain State Fair.
PRESENTATION & ACTIVITY
Land Of The Dinosaur
Today I set up a “Land of the Dinosaurs” display at the front of the room. The display contained kits from Animal Planet Tub of Dinosaurs (various size and kinds of dinosaurs, and volcanoes, trees, land and water) and Discount School Supply’s Giant Dinosaurs. We also had V-Tech Switch & Go Dinos (RoboticTransforming Dinosaurs), a Diego Jeep, Binoculars, shovels and sifters, tweezers, magnifying glasses, clothes pins & wooden eggs (to build a nest), and a hand broom.
The kids were encouraged to come up and handle the dinosaur display, look closely feel all of the items, etc.
Then they were asked to take a seat, get an idea in their mind of a dinosaur they would like to build. The kids were each given a piece of special graph paper called Lego brick paper and a sharpened pencil. They were asked to draw the shape of their creation on the Lego brick paper.
Learning to translate their ideas onto paper is such an important step in their learning process. It builds and enhances many cognitive skills in the design process. Lego MBA curriculum encourages kids to draw their designs. We got the Lego Brick Graph Paper from the Lego MBA website. See below for a link for this printable.
They were given about 20 minutes to accomplish this task. They were asked to take their drawing home and build a dinosaur with Legos based on their drawing. The Lego brick paper is great because you can count how many Lego bricks long the nose is, or how many tall the body is, or how many bricks you need for the tail, etc. The kids can get a rough idea and it helps them gage how many bricks they will need to use to create their design. If they make changes to the design, then they should make the changes on their Lego brick paper. They were asked to bring back a finished dinosaur they have created and their drawing they based it from, to the next club meeting for show and tell.
Next, they spent some time playing with two different VTech Switch & Go Dinos. My 9 year old son, and 12 year old son demonstrated for the club how these work. These are robotic transforming dinosaur toys. They have a robotic head / face that has over 50 sound effects and facial features to choose from. They transform from dinosaurs into race cars that race across the floor, and the dino face becomes the car window and kids can choose a driver that appears in the window and racing sound effects with the buttons.
We passed these around to all the kids and they transformed them back and forth and pushed the buttons to select different options. They looked at how the toys were made and located the speakers where the sound comes out.
They hypothesized about the computer program that created and recorded the sounds. They deciphered it was pre-programmed to sense motion which activated the pre-recorded sounds. We have experimented with a program like this in our club meetings with the Lego Education WeDo Robotics. The kids have programmed a Roaring Lion (sleeps /snores, eats /chomps, and sits up and roars). All the sounds are motion activated and the actions are movement or tilt activated. This was a neat way to tie in the concepts of what they have been learning and see how an inventor used this process in a toy (VTech Dino) that kids play with.
Next, they were divided into two teams. They were given a box of Lego Creator Prehistoric Hunters kits. These have 191 pieces. Each set creates three different dinosaurs.
Today the building challenge was to build the T-Rex model. They had 35 minutes to work together as a team and build the model.
Learning to work together as a team to accomplish a goal is very important. In these huddles, you will find them negotiating, suggesting, helping, encouraging, taking turns, setting out parts for each other, asking each other questions, and moving towards the goal.
When they had finished building the T-Rex, the teams had to explain what techniques (they have learned about techniques in Lego MBA), that they used to build this dinosaur model.
Here are just a few of the techniques the kids used:
Next they went outside and explored a sand pit (large boxes of sand) full of buried dinosaurs. They had 10 minutes to locate various dinosaurs with shovels and scoops, and them clean them off with a brush.
Then bring the dinosaurs they found back inside and re-create the scene they observed and played with at the front of the room at the beginning of the meeting. Once they were back inside at their team’s table, they had to use blue and green construction paper, dinosaurs they uncovered in the sand pits, trees, volcanos, and their Lego T-Rex dinosaur they built to re-create a “Land Of The Dinosaurs” scene.
Team 1 was first finishing their dinosaur, but both team 1 and team 2 tied in the end by the time they had everything finished. (a fellow is missing in the picture for team 2). It was a good Dinosaur Building Competition.
Show and Tell
Next we had Show and Tell. For our Show and Tell portion of the meeting, kids bring various items related to Legos, robotics, or things they have created, or projects they are interested in to the meeting. Most of the time these creations are made with their Lego MBA kits. But they are welcome to bring in other things too. We usually spend about 30 minutes or so. Each kid is asked to spend about 3 minutes telling us about what they brought.
We had a four different kids bring projects they made with their Lego MBA kits. There were airplanes, space planes, space trash collection ship, and a rock band all made with their Lego MBA kits. The plane in the second photo above was actually made using three kits from his Lego MBA program. Wow, what a master piece!
The kids also shared a robot made from a soda pop can, a Robots movie, and a Bloco Dinosaur building set my son just got the night before and didn’t have a chance to build it yet.
Bloco Dinosaur Building Set He plans to bring the finished project next time. He was so excited to find this kit.
Here is a video of one of the kids showing the kids his soda pop can robot he built with his dad:
It would be an understatement to say the Lego and Robotics Academy club is fun. It totally ROCKS!
Uh, hum, did I say that? Well yes, I DID! These kids are so awesome! I think I have the funnest job in the world, being their teacher!
We are learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in our club. Learning together with these kids has never been so much fun! We have been using various Lego products including Lego MBA, Lego WeDo, Lego NXT, and various Lego bricks and parts.
We met today, and held a building and racing challenge using Lego Racers, a show and tell using our Lego MBA kits and various Lego pieces, and a time of fellowship and refreshments. The meeting lasted about two and a half hours. This post is about the building and racing challenge. Look for a second story about the show and tell and fellowship from today’s meeting. You can also read about our other great learning programs we have done at Lego and Robotics Academy.
Our kids are designed for learning in a fun way. The goal is simple. Find ways to have fun while learning. Or another way to look at it is to learn while having fun. I think we accomplished this goal today!
I always pray before working on a learning plan for the club. I am giving credit where credit is due. Don’t think this stuff is all my idea. No way. I have to give credit to my creator, God, who inspires me. Yes, thats right, God answers prayer, gives courage, and inspires people.
“When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.” Psalm 138:3
My heavenly father, the creator of the universe, is the greatest engineer there ever has been. He knows it all. I believe he enjoys it when we take time to ask for his help, and when we apply ourselves to learn about Him, and learn about science and engineering and how he engineered the universe to work.
While preparing the program and lesson for today, I felt inspired to help the kids learn and practice math skills, geography skills, and engineering skills while working together in teams. Teams are great because working together in teams teaches cooperation, negotiation, conflict resolution, and sharing responsibilities to reach a specific goal.
Today we were off to the races with a fun building competition. If you have ever seen the Disney movies Cars and Cars 2, then you have a kid’s idea of racing cars, and animated racing fun in different countries.
In Cars 1, its all about racing in the USA, and in Cars 2, Lightning McQueen and his friends travel around the world for international competitions. In Cars 2 they race in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Italy. While the race is going on, one of McQueens’ friends, Matter, gets accidentally caught up in a spy operation to take down a gang that wants to rule the world by controlling the fuel. It is a great movie with lots of thrills and suspense, and my kids love watching it again and again. A few months ago, we hosted a movie party in our home and watched this movie. You can read more about it by clicking the link here.
Here is a short video clip from the Cars 2 movie.
I thought it would be a lot of fun to work with an idea from a story about something relevant in our culture that most kids today have seen and love, like the racing in these movies. My plan was to spend some time racing with Lego cars and learn a little about the countries that hosted the races in these movies.
Small efficient teams and engineering were at the heart of the learning experience for today. In the Cars 2 movie, Mater becomes part of an International Spy team. His team has to help re-design his truck to out run and out wit the bad guys. In both movies, Lightning McQueen also has a team of mechanics and supporters / friends that help him keep his car in perfect condition to race fast and finish the race. So working in teams was also important in completing our race challenges today.
We divided into four teams. Each team was small and had only three members / race car drivers. This was key in being able to work quickly to build their cars, and complete three important race segments and find their average distance traveled. The youngest person on the team is racer 1, the next older person is racer 2, and oldest person on the team is racer 3. The job of the race car driver was to line up the car on the stomper and stomp to make the car race across the floor. Each team also had an adult helper.
The teams learned about:
the flag of the country they represented,
located their country on a globe,
learned about flags that are used in actual races, flags send signals to drivers on a race track,
followed directions / blueprints to build a race car
took turns and shared responsibilities
air pressure / air power
how to measure distance
how to find the average of three distances
raced to find out what car had the best design for reaching the farthest distance
how to make / engineer modifications to change the desired outcome
Each team was randomly given a race car kit, assigned a country, and given the flag coloring page for that country. Each person was also given a racing flag coloring sheet too. We used the Lego Racers building kits. These kits contain a set of blueprints to build the car, various Lego bricks and wheels to build the car, and an air pressure stomp to be assembled.
Each of the 4 teams were given the same instructions and completed three large challenges today. Everyone went through the same exact steps in each challenge, though each team had a different car to build in challenge one. Everything was completed and raced in stages. The pictures I’ve shared with you through out this story are random from all four teams during different stages of our challenges today.
CHALLENGE ONE: Building Race Cars
Using the Lego Racer kits provided, follow the building plans in the kit and build a race car for your team and country.
Team Italy Lego Racers DRAGON DUELER
Team USA Lego Racers HERO
Team Japan Lego Racers VICIOUS VIPER
Team United Kingdom Lego Racers STING STRIKER
CHALLENGE TWO RACE, Measure, Record, Color, Locate, Calculate, and Learn.
Race Car Driver 1: Race your car. Connect the car to the air pressure stomp. Stomp it and watch it race across the floor to the other side of the room.
Team: Measure the distance and record it. Using a rope and the tape measure, stretch them between the stomper and the location the car ended. How many inches did the car travel? Write your answer down on your country’s flag page each time you race. We will use these numbers at the end of the three races.
Team: Find your country on the globe and show it to your team’s adult helper.
Each racer on the team: Color your country’s flag.
Race Car Driver 2: Race your car again.
Team: Measure the 2nd distance and record it.
Team: Each race car driver on the team must color the racing flags page and learn what each flag used in a race stands for. Share the information with your team’s adult helper.
Race Car Driver 3: Race your car again.
Team: Measure the 3rd distance and record it.
Team: Find the average distance your car raced. Using the numbers you recorded on your country’s flag page, add all three distances together and divide by 3. This is the average distance your race car traveled.
What team’s car went the farthest? #1 USA #2 United Kingdom #3 Italy #4 Japan
What powered the car to travel in the race? Air power. Air pressure was generated by stomping on the stomper. Air pressure was sent to the car through a connector tube. The blast of air caused the car to shoot forward with momentum.
Why did the car travel across the room? The momentum of the car caused the car to continue to move forward. It continued to move forward because the force pulled the car forward. The car rolled on 4 wheels. Two wheels in front were connected by an axel. Two wheels in back were connected by an axel. The two sets of wheels in front and back moved freely but in unison allowing the force from the blast of air pressure to propel the car straight forward.
Does the car have brakes? No
How could we give these race cars brakes? Place a parachute on the back of the car to capture air and slow it to a stop. Place sandpaper infront of the tires to cause more friction to slow the tires to a stop. Place an incline in front of the car, causing gravity to pull the car backwards as it tries to go up the incline and reducing the forward force of momentum.
If the car does not have brakes, why did the car come to a stop? Eventually the force pushing the car forward was less than the force of friction and gravity. Enough friction occurred and slowed the car to a stop. The aerodynamic shape of the car helped to minimize friction. The ability of the wheels to turn with minimal ground contact allows the car to minimize friction. The reduction in friction allowed the car to continue movement for a long distance. Eventually friction and the pull of gravity were greater, and the force from the air blast disappeared causing the car to stop.
How could we make the car continue going a longer distance? Provide another or larger air blast, or an engine with power, or a source of power to cause momentum with the car or momentum with the axel and wheels. You could also have the car travel down hill and use the force of gravity to help it go farther. You could also set up a sail and provide wind behind the car to move it forward like a sail boat.
What things about the car’s design might have allowed some cars to go further than others?
Friction slows the car down. Cars that have less friction go farther. Areas the car experienced friction include wheels, air, and the force of gravity.
Variations in the person pushing the stomper for air pressure to send the car forward. Some pushed the stomper harder than others.
Variations in the stomper and connection to the car. Wind power was generated by air under pressure from the stomper. Some connections moved and separated smoothly and some were tight causing additional friction and loss of power.
Variations in the friction of air moving against the vehicle. Some vehicle shapes are more aerodynamic than others. As more of the front of the car hits the air, it captures it as it tries to travel through, and the air slows it down. Shape is very important. If less of the shape in front of the car captures air, the car will not be slowed down by the air.
Weight ratio compared to the size of the car can give it more momentum or less momentum.
The more decorative extra pieces on a car, such as fancy bumper, extra hight, etc. might slow the car down if it is too heavy or if its grabs the wind. Either situation can cause more friction and more pull from gravity.
What signals or message do the different color flags used during a race tell or communicate to the race car drivers and their team? GREEN: “GO”. The green flag starts the race. YELLOW: “Caution”, there is a problem, slow down and keep your position. RED: “STOP!” To be safe you must stop quickly and safely. BLACK: “Come In”. Drive your car into the pits. WHITE: “Last Lap”. You have one final lap until the finish line, do your best. CHECKERED: “You WON!” The checkered flag is waved as the winner crosses the finish line.
CHALLENGE THREE Re-Engineer and Race
Trouble shoot and re-engineer modifications to the cars if needed, then race your team’s car again and see if you can make it go farther. ALL TEAMS: Race, and modify three more times to see if you can improve your distance.
What team’s car traveled the farthest out of the last three races? #1 USA #2 United Kingdom #3 Italy #4 Japan
What car has the best design, needed the least modifications, for going the longest distance today? Hero, Sting Striker, and Dragon Dueler all performed similar and seem to be the best built for the application we did.
Though some teams made modifications, the end results were similar in challenge 3 to the results in challenge 2. Team USA, Team United Kingdom, and Team Italy were nearly the same in their outcomes through out all the races.
In my opinion, the Hero, Sting Striker, and the Dragon Dueler cars are the better made products for doing this activity. We only tested out four cars and there are other cars in the Lego Racer series. I would like to repeat this activity and use the other cars and see if our results were different.
We had a lot of trouble with the Vicious Viper car for several reasons. The wheels on the Vicious Viper were too tight causing more friction, it had knobbed tires instead of smooth tires, so the tires grabbed the floor differently than the smooth tires, and the vehicle was taller than the other vehicles causing more air friction, and it also did not want to slide off the connector tube on the stomper.
So this vehicle more than any others required a lot of trial and error as the kids and their adult helper continually tested it out and made modifications after each race. Some of the changes they had to make were to remove some of the decorative pieces lowering the height of the car, loosen the wheels, and lubricate the connector tube. It was a good experience for them to learn what design flaws were causing the issues and re-engineer ways to improve the vehicle so they could complete the race.
Unfortunately, in the final set of races, several cars got “stuck” on their stomper mechanisms and it took a little longer for their cars to go. But we were not competing with race times today, we were competing with race distances, so it did not matter if they weren’t first in racing the car. But at times, the stuck stomper issue was a little frustrating for the kids as they were so excited for the stomp, and then let down if the car didn’t go on the first attempt.
I made some videos of the final races and combined them with pictures into one video. I forgot to make videos earlier in the meeting of the earlier races which were awesome to see, but I took lots of pictures. In this video, you will also see how some cars got stuck on the stomper and see one team trying to re-engineer their vehicle to go the distance.
Vocabulary: We learned and practiced lots of vocabulary words today. Average distance Distance Measure Inches Engineer Modify Pressure Air power Wind Friction Movement Force Momentum Traveling on a Plane vs. an Incline Build Design Change
COLORING PAGES: Flag Coloring Pages for these countries: Italy Japan UK USA
Racing Flags Coloring Page for flags used to signal during a race.
Bible Verse: “I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7
For our next meeting we are planning to build an inclined race track, and use the force of gravity to pull the car down the ramp, and friction to stop the car. Each kid will build their own Lego race car, and race as individuals (no teams). Each car will be racing for speed, not for distance next time. I don’t know if I can pull it off, but I would love to have a robotic sensor that measures the speed at the finish line. This may be a bigger challenge than I can muster just yet. Our “judge of time” may be just a stop watch and a parent helper calling out the times, and the robot sensor may come at a future race. It’s a desired goal anyway. I know our next race is going to be even more awesome as we see the creativity, design, and engineering skills in action from these kids. Stay tuned…………….
It takes a lot of resources to do these activities and teach these concepts with kids. In addition to learning together in our meetings, our goal is to progress into a First Lego League Team. If you would like to donate funds, gift cards, or building kits to help these kids learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) please send me an email at weiser academy at aol dot com.
Feel free to leave us a comment about this learning activity in the comment section below. Thank you.
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:
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.
Each child took turns volunteering to build different steps in the project until it was all complete.
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.
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.
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
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. Total possible points for challenge = 6 .
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.
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.
Team ONE (8 kids) built:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 Kids Coop Science Sunday Sharing Time 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 MBAseries. 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.
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.
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.