We Do Dancing Birds at Lego and Robotics Academy

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!


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 .


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.



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. 

Welcome SPRING!

This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Kids Coop
Science Sunday
Sharing Time
ABC and 123

Please share.
This entry was posted in 4H Clubs & 4H Activities & 4H Fairs, Lego, Lego and Robotics Academy 4H Club, Lego MBA, Lego WeDO on by .

About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business www.weisernaturalfoods.com I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

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