Lego and Robotics Academy January Meeting

Our January 4H club meeting was about “How To Give A Presentation”.

4H Presentation time is upon us and it is time for the kids to research a topic and put a presentation together.  In February they will practice their speeches and use of props during training sessions at the county extension office. Then they will present their presentation in front of a panel of judges in April.  If they do well there, they will progress on to a district level, and if they do well again, they will progress forward on to a state competition level.

Business Meeting

The club President, age 12, opened the meeting by hitting the gavel and saying the meeting is now called to order.  He called on a club member to lead the club in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then he called on another member to lead the club in the 4H pledge.

Next he called on the Vise President, age 12, to introduce visitors.  We had three visitors: 2 agents from the Henderson County Extension Office and a college student.  Next he called on the club Secretary / Treasurer, age 10,  to give a summary report of the club happenings including the last meeting and the plan for today. 


Finally he called on the club Representative to give a summary of things going on and opportunities in the larger county 4H program, and the agent from the extension office filled in and gave us lots of great information about upcoming classes, camps, and opportunities for fun learning adventures.

Presentation / Demonstration

Our guest speaker today was Denise Sherill, 4H Extension Agent for Henderson County, North Carolina.  She presented a power point training on “How To Give A 4H Presentation”.  She also brought with her a student from Blue Ridge Community College who is learning to teach and judge public speaking and presentations.


You can find out more about 4H presentations at the link here


Then one of our club members who has experience with presentations and has been in 4H for several years, gave us a presentation on the game of CHESS.  He brought several props with him for his demonstration.  He explained what each piece in the game did and why it was important.  He had made a poster board to give us a printed visual of the main points of his speech.  This is a presentation he has given before in front of 4H judges and has done very well at competitions.


While the presentations were going on, another Extension Agent, Sue, was in another part of the room notarizing paperwork for families.  Each year families fill out enrollment forms for their children to participate in 4H.  Sue is a notary and it was such a blessing to have her come to the meeting and help the parents get their paper work finished, notarized, and turned in.


During the meeting, kids who are not members of the club do other quiet activities.  I am so thankful for help from teens and parents who come and assist the preschoolers, toddlers, and babies during the meeting.



Then we had Show and Tell and each club member was able to give a short speech about what they brought, how they created it, special techniques they used in building it, etc.  This part of our meeting is so important for the kids to gain confidence in public speaking skills.  They become confident at clearly speaking their ideas to an audience through practice during our time of Show and Tell. 


They can bring a variety of things they are interested in.  They often bring projects they have created using Lego MBA curriculum and building kits.  The club kids were very creative in their projects today. 


Some used the Lego MBA kits to create fun futuristic space ships, robots, rovers, and military tanks.


Others brought items made from Lego City kits, and Lego Creator kits, Kre-O kits, and a Robotic T-Rex Wooden Dinosaur.


We always learn something new during show and tell.  This dinosaur was fascinating.  There is no glue holding it together.  It is completely done with locking wooden puzzle like pieces.  It is robotic and its jaw  and legs move.  It is sound activated.  If you clap your hands or make a noise, it comes to life, and walks and chomps its jaws.


The kids have a great time sharing their creations.  They are learning so much about different building techniques. 


Even when they are not using Lego MBA kits to build with, they are able to name what techniques they used to build with, because of the great learning they did with the Lego MBA curriculum.  It is a wonderful curriculum to learn with.


One club kid gave us a demonstration of speaking with American Sign Language (ASL).  He is taking a course in this and is doing very well.  He signed the word “Lego” for us, and a few more words the kids asked him how to sign, such as “hello”.  He also told us that he took a field trip and was required to be silent and only speak with sign language for the whole trip.  His group went to a Mexican resturant and ordered food in sign language and it was a lot of fun.  We were all amazed at his ability to speak with signing.


Fellowship and Refreshments

We only had 7 club kids today (out of 20), 5 non-club kids, 4 parents, and 3 special guests.  Even though many of our regular members were not able to join us, and we were a small group, it was still a special time of fellowship for each of us.  The 4H Extension Agent said it was a great club meeting today and she enjoyed sharing and learning with all of these great kids.


During our fellowship time, the kids played with their creations and some played a game of chess.  


They talked and laughed and shared stories of what has been going on since they last seen each other.


It was raining outside and we were not able to go outside to play, so they enjoyed each others company inside.


I am very grateful for the help of other parents during the club meetings.  In addition to helping in serving foods, they also help with set up, clean up, and help with the toddlers and preschoolers. Their help makes it possible for me to organize, facilitate, teach, and take lots of pictures. I am so thankful we have such a special group of families in our club.


I love fellowship time, because we have time to really talk freely and get to know each other better.  It really serves to build stronger bonds between the kids and families who come.


I brought a lunch of hot Sloppy Joe sandwiches, pretzels, fruit juice pouches, and birthday cupcakes (it is my son’s 8th birthday).  Other parents brought chocolate chip cookies, V8 vegetable-fruit juice blend, and candy canes to share. 


I stayed up late the night before and made the sandwiches with 5lbs of lean ground meat from a cow we had butchered.  I put the meet in a crock pot on low setting and stirred in a cooked sauce made with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and seasoning.  The house smelled so good in the morning I wanted to eat some for breakfast, but I didn’t.  My husband drove all the way from North Carolina to Ohio a few months ago to pick up this pasture raised beef from a friend of ours.  We bought a half of a cow from him and had it butchered and frozen.  He packed the frozen packages in dry ice and brought it home and put it in the freezer ready to use.  I am so grateful for this wonderful meat to share with my family and friends.  These sandwiches were so flavorful. I think they were the best Sloppy Joes I have ever made. 


I forgot the tray of raw carrots and broccoli and the vegetable dip at home, as I was too tired from staying up late to remember the vegetable tray when loading everything into the van to bring for the meeting today.  I felt bad that I had forgot, as it was a key part of the meal.  We have some parents who are on special diets and fruits and vegetables would have been the best option for their needs today. 


I have started a fitness focus myself and fruits and vegetables are a key ingredient on my family fitness plan.  I can’t believe I forgot this important item for the menu.  But alas, I am not super woman and I make mistakes.  I have six kids and I am a wife and mommy first, before everything else.  Somedays I feel like I am running on little energy, little sleep, and little brain cells.  I’ve got to give myself a break sometimes and just let things go.  So today we had a meal with no fruits and veggies.  Despite our lack of fresh produce, and my forgetfulness, we still shared a great meal and time of fellowshipping together!


We are off to a great start in Lego and Robotics Academy this year!

This post will be linked up with 
Raising Homemakers
Sharing Time
Far Above Rubies
Feasting In Fellowship

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