We had another fantastic learning adventure with the Lego and Robotics Academy 4H Club. Today we learned about flight using Lego We Do Airplane, Model Planes, and Paper Airplanes.
Our club gets together once a month to learn about technology, science, public speaking, citizenship, fellowship, and more. These are all local homeschool families and many know each other in various other activities too.
We opened the meeting with the 4H pledge and the Pledge of Allegiance and a short business meeting to introduce visitors and discuss 4H activities. We had 15 club kids, 11 parents, and 7 siblings (babies and toddlers) attend today.
We also recognized two fantastic club kids who received a Bronze and a Silver Medal for their 4H Project Records they did on their projects with Legos. Great Job Guys!
Presentation / Demonstration
For today’s program, I set up the Lego We Do kit, a laptop computer, and an airplane and helicopter display at one end of the tables. The kids all sat around the tables facing the computer. Parents sat behind the kids near the tables and along the wall. This is such a great set up and can accommodate quite a few kids on our small budget ( we only have one Lego We Do building kit and a borrowed computer). Oh I dream of being able to provide several kits, and several computers too, for this great group of kids!
Then we jumped in to learning about various styles of airplanes and what they were used for. While we talked, my oldest son operated the computer, and three of the older boys from the class built a model robot airplane from Lego We Do, for the demonstration.
While they were busy building and connecting all the pieces, wires, motion sensors, etc. for the Airplane Rescue model the rest of the club learned about different kinds of airplanes.
I usually have all the kids come up and take turns building with the Lego We Do pieces onto the robotic model we are building, but today I decided to do two things at once. So while these guys were building the robotic airplane, the rest of us had another project.
But when these fellows were done building it, my son showed everyone how to operate the Lego We Do airplane with the computer program.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Concepts they learned about: propeller, blocks, motor power, play sound, random input, start on key press, tilt sensor input, and wait for command keys.
1. How energy transfers through the machine. The energy changes from electrical to
mechanical. The energy transfers from the computer, powers the motor, to the axel, and
turns the propeller blade.
2. Operate a programable model and demonstrate ability to operate digital tools and
3. Build and test power level and movement of the model plane.
4. Understand and use tilt sensor values to control the timing of the motor. The
motor speeds up and slows down depending on the direction of the tilt of the plane.
Then all the kids got to take turns coming up and operating the robotic airplane with the computer and playing around with it.
In addition to various airplanes and 3 helicopters, I also brought some books with information about planes, and lots of pictures to pass around for the kids to look at.
Some of the model airplane and helicopters included:
Harrier Jump Jet
Lego Dino helicopter
But as I introduced a few of the airplanes, a young man spoke up about lots of additional facts about the airplanes. He was an 11 year old boy visiting the club today to see if he might like to join. He knew an amazing amount of information about airplanes.
He did such a great job of talking about the first couple of planes, that I quickly realized it would be much more enjoyable to hear him explaining the planes rather than me. I just turned the airplane presentation over to him. He gladly agreed and beamed with excitement! As we passed around each plane, he gave us a full description.
He can pretty much tell you all about any airplane you can put infront of him, who made them, what country produced them, if they were used by the military, if they were used in a war, how much fuel they hold, how many guns or bombs they hold, if they are civilian, etc. He is an airplane encyclopedia!
He told us learning about planes, boats, and history was his passion. He also told us that he has an uncle who works on planes. This young man has done a lot of research and he truly is passionate about the history of planes. I was so excited to have a kid lead the discussion with such passion and drive. It was refreshing! I truly enjoyed his “on the spot” presentation.
Building Challenge: Paper Planes
Next, I brought kits of paper planes to share with the kids. These planes come in sheets of decorated paper with lines to fold and some lines to cut. The planes also have special flying features and are aerodynamic.
I brought rulers to help them fold with straight edges. However, a problem I quickly realized that I forgot to bring scissors for all the kids. I only brought one pair. OOPPS! Time was not on my side, there was no way 15 kids could wait on one pair of scissors, so I opted to send the papers home with the kids and email their parents the directions to fold and cut, and fly them at home.
I was bummed that I had forgot to bring scissors! These predesigned planes are amazing. They fly very well because of some special folds that make them more aerodynamic and I wanted the kids to learn about these and then learn to make their own designs.
Next we designed our own airplanes and folded them into various plane shapes.
We wrote numbers (100, 200, 300, 400) on paper, and attached them to the floor with tape making a runway for the planes to land. We also divided the kids into two teams: Team A and Team B. Each team had kids in ages from 7 to 13. I tried to pare up kids of similar ages to fly their planes at the same time. But one team had 8 kids and one team had 7 kids, so one person on the smaller team got to fly their plane twice to make it equal.
The goal was to fly their planes to the 400 number if possible. We gave them a practice round and they could make modifications to their plane if it didn’t fly just how they wanted it to.
The second time through the line, we kept scores for the teams. Some planes flew to the 100, 200, 300, and 400. We added up the scores at the end. Yahoo!
It was a lot of fun to go up against your friends and try to beat their scores.
Show and Tell
It amazes me how creative and fun the projects are that the kids create and share with us for show and tell every month. It makes the club personal and fun. I did not tell them ahead of time that we were doing an airplane theme, but many of the kids made airplanes and helicopters for their show and tell.
Many of the kids built thier show and tell projects from their Lego MBA kits we are learning with. All of the kids in the club have purchased the Lego MBA Level 1(kits 1, 2, 3) and Level 2 (kits 4, 5, 6). We use the Lego MBA program to learn better building techniques, and design. Then we can use pieces of other Lego kits and build with the techniques from Lego MBA to create amazing creations from our imagination. You can read more about Lego MBA building techniques in several of our other stories to learn more about this great program.
We had a great variety of projects for Show and Tell today.
Here is a Camper. Next up is a Helicopter that transforms into escape pods if shot down.
A cool Lego MBA Spaceship and a Lego MBA bracelet. Next is a modern day house floorplan. She said she used every Lego kit she had to build it, and she entered this project in the WNC Mountain State Fair and won first place.
Lego MBA Robosaurus, Lego City Police Boat, and a Spinning Lego Ninja.
This fellow brought his map from his trip to Lego Land in Florida. He showed us all the rides he rode and told us about each one.
Lego MBA Space Plane from Level 1. Next is a Three In One Lego MBA spaceship. It separates into 3 separate space planes that all connected into one mother ship.
An ambulance with nurses, stretcher, first aid and more. Next is an Avengers Quinjet plane. This was very cool. It had a robot drone that pooped out, storage for cargo or other figures, a prison with sleeping cots, missiles, and it was supersonic. Wow!
Next is a Lego MBA Helicopter taxi, Lego MBA Samurai Mobile, Monster Fighters, Lego MBA Sharkpedo (space shark torpedo). Also a Commando Assault Machine the ultimate fighter vehicle. He got this idea from the Delta Force movie with Chuck Norris his hero! He used pieces from several Lego Creator kits to make it and used Lego MBA building techniques to design and build it.
Refreshments & Fellowship
Refreshment and Fellowship time is a favorite time to relax, talk with friends, and eat together. A time of fellowship to build bonds and strengthen friendships. Today the families shared angel food cake, grapes, bananas, crackers, cheese, meat, chips, water, and juice. These refreshments make a nice light lunch, as some of the families have more classes later in the afternoon.
After they eat, some of the kids get thier Legos out and battle or create skits or stories using thier different creations. Some families have to leave by now depending on their schedules, but others have time to stay longer. By this time, my own baby wants out of the stroller. The baby and toddler are wanting held now, and my hands are full. As soon as they finish eating, I finally have time to sit and visit with the other families. The kids who stay longer often go outside after we clean up, and play games outside after we are done inside. Several families stay and help me clean up the room, and put tables and chairs away.
Today, several kids stayed and played in the rain under the picnic shelter with my kids after they were done eating inside. They were totally soaked from playing in the rain, and they had a great time getting that way. They played lots of games under the shelter. They had removed their shoes to dance out in the rain and splash in the puddles too. The meeting lasts from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, but by the time the kids play outside for a while with friends, it was nearly 1 pm before we left today. It was a great day!
This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Feasting In Fellowship