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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have been slow to post in the second session of Lego robotics, partly because the power went out Monday and I am tending my elderly mom until hers goes back on. One thing that happened today stuck me with such force, however, that I felt the need to write. One of the students had spent 4 days putting together the "Shooter Bot" which shot small plastic balls out rapidly. We demonstrated it today and I told him I would try to keep it together until tomorrow.

Normally we have to share six brains with all three classes, which have six teams in them. The students were so impressed that they, of course, wanted to use the bot and not tear it apart. To make it more challenging, I asked them to aim it at the wall and see if they could bounce it into a plastic box on the floor.

The first shooter put the box against the wall and I wanted to say, "No, that's going to be too close." I have learned to shut up, however, and observe. The students will see if it doesn't work and make adjustments.

Imagine my surprise when all 8 balls bounced off the wall and landed directly into the box! That is the kind of thing that is hard for me, even after years of playing Jardinains. Some people instinctively learn by knowing, as did my middle child. There's no way to explain it, any more than you can explain the ability to spell or draw. I am just grateful I got to see it in action once more.