Super Top Secret Design Challenge

Our meeting this week was busy and productive.  We debriefed about our bottle drive experience, and plan to hold another one that is bigger and better in the spring–so parents….please save your empties for us!

Look who showed up today!  Remi….who is modelling our “Apron of Doom”–if you do not clean up, you must wear it! (here are some classic apron pictures)  Remi is working on putting together an order of hoodies.  Think about whether you are interested in purchasing a team hoodie this year.  Prices and designs will be coming your way soon!

remiWe discussed the plans for the FIRST LEGO league tournament, and Jr. FIRST LEGO League Expo that we’re hosting on December 3rd.  We look forward to lots of our K-Bots volunteering to help out with set up on December 2nd in the evening, and with the running of the event on December 3rd.  We’ll be hard at work by 8 until probably 5 or 6.  There’s lots of volunteer hours available!  There are many jobs for students to do, from helping with registration, being good tour guides of our school for all of the visiting teams, cooking a delicious pasta lunch for our judges, and even taking a turn being the blue bear to help lead cheering!  For more information please contact Christine.

CADOur group split up for rotations of CAD tutorial work–some of us are getting really good at the practical applications of CAD.

CAD superstar

Others are getting really good at the impractical applications of CAD.  Meet Geoffrey the dragon!  GeoffreyWe held a brainstorming rotation for Chairman’s report ideas, and activities we should engage in over the year to help our community and build up our team.  We also walked everyone through the STIMS registration and online consent forms for FIRST.  Students and parents both must complete the process for the permission forms to be complete.brainstorming

Our beta testers were busy getting Barbra Streisand (Kasey III) up and running, as an important beta-testing deadline is coming up next week.

betatestingThe remaining station was a super top secret design challenge. Groups had 30 minutes and a variety of materials (wheels, newspaper, straws, plastecine, skewers, cardboard, wood, screws, saws, measuring devices, and lots of tape) to construct a vehicle that was powered by a balloon that could travel the farthest down the school hallway.

During the 30 minutes, each group needed to plan, prototype, construct, test and modify their design, as well as demonstrate good communication and teamwork skills.

discussing building

Since each group worked in isolation, the vehicles produced were unique.  Some had wheels, some didn’t.  Some used an inflated balloon, others used it as a slingshot.

balloon on steroids

that balloon's on steroids!


If the car breaks, and part of the car goes the farthest, it still counts....right?

the real car is Sam

The real car is Sam....the balloon is just the distraction!

no wheels

look mom--no wheels!

We all learned a lot during this challenge.  It’s important to use time wisely–to allow time for testing and modifications–to plan before building–and to bring spare parts to the competition.  We had lots of fun, even if the vehicles did not travel too far down the hallway!  This might be a challenge we’ll revisit in the future.


we'll work on durability of designs...

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