Tag Archives: Lego®

The Brick Chronicles :: Lego Ferry Boat

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

A Lego® ferry boat made by R, age 9.5.

A Lego® ferry boat made by R, age 9.5.

IMG_1373This little creation was inspired by a keen interest in city transportation. There was an elaborate Lego city and my boys needed a quick and easy way to get around…hence, the ferry boat. I love the usefulness of upside-down legos!

The Brick Chronicles :: Lego EV3 and WeDo Robots

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

The first EV3 robot build - from instructions. Made by R, age 9.

The first EV3 robot build – from instructions. Made by R, age 9.

This past week I finally had a chance to sit down and actually work with our new EV3 robots. After cracking open the educational version of the EV3 software, I could see how this could be overwhelming to a typical ten-year-old (and their parents). Since I teach kids how to use the Lego@ WeDo software and Scratch, the programming was less intimating, but there was a general question of “where do I start?” Once my eldest son and I started tinkering with the programming, we encountered some very different and much more advanced features. We’ve only played with it for a couple of hours and there are still some basic things we need to work out. For example, how do you make the blasted thing do a consistent 90-degree turn?

I’ve since learned that for each robot that you make, the turning “number” will be different. This makes sense and shows the depth of the software and robotic features of the Mindstorms. Yet, that can be pretty overwhelming to a new robotic user.

The first thing I did was to print out the “user guide.” Yes, I printed it out! I like the idea of referring to something physical (and making notes) while I work with the software. It will also be available to the students to use (if they so choose).  While many of my students would rather try, try and try again, I do have the occasional student who finds reference materials helpful. In addition, I’ve digitally “checked out” this book from my local library and it’s proving to be more helpful than the “guide” in the software.

While my oldest son and I delve into Mindstorms, my youngest is ready to progress beyond just tinkering with the WeDo set and is focusing more on the different aspects of programming. A couple more months of working and he’ll be ready to tackle some of the fun challenges at Dr. E’s.

In fact, this child is less of a builder and more interested in telling the computer what to do. Just like his mother!

In fact, this child is less of a builder and is more interested in telling the computer what to do. Just like his mother!

 

 

The Brick Chronicles :: Trolley

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

Lego® Trolley

An electric trolley, made by R, age 9 1/2.

On most days, there are two nine-year-olds playing and working at my house. My son…and his friend. Currently, they are caught up in maps, city layouts and utilities. What started out as a paper project has now morphed into a 3-D Lego® world – and I am enjoying the creativity that is happening all around. This trolley is part of a larger city  – one that includes an articulated truck – complete with yarn for electric wires, O-trains and suburbs.

The Brick Chronicles :: Articulated Lego®Truck

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

An articulated truck with a wheelchair ramp (in use). Made by R, age 9.5.

An tiny articulated truck with a wheelchair ramp (in use). Made by R, age 9.5.

The blue brick with the orange "dot" is the person in the wheelchair. The red brick with the yellow "dot" on top is the person pushing the wheelchair.

The blue brick with the orange “dot” is the person in the wheelchair. The red brick with the yellow “dot” on top is the person pushing the wheelchair.

Once everyone is on board, the ramp lifts up so the truck can drive.

Once everyone is on board, the ramp lifts up so the truck can drive.

 

The Brick Chronicles :: Hinged Lego® Box

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

Inspired by the Lego Ideas Book, made by R, age 9.5

Inspired by the Lego Ideas Book, made by R, age 9.5

My children love to build on their own and will often create new and unique things. But, they also like to be inspired (and grow their skills) by copying something that someone else has done. Often, I will see variations and modifications of a suggested project. We really are social beings.

From The Lego Ideas Book

From The Lego Ideas Book

The closed box - with hinges!

The closed box – with hinges and no instructions.

 

 

 

The Brick Chronicles :: Unidentifiable Lego® Object

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

Unidentfiable Lego ObjectI asked both kids and neither one can tell me what this structure was meant to be, nor which one of them made it. In fact, one child insisted that the picture was taken a year ago. Um…no. The date in my files says it was the beginning of the summer. This summer. I think that shows that it truly is the process that counts!

 

 

The Brick Chronicles :: Lego® Feeder Machine

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

An almost complete real-life feeder. Made by R, age 9 (with a little help from Dad).

An almost complete real-life feeder. Made by R, age 9 (with a little help from Dad).

This week’s Lego® build is a pretty awe-inducing sight. My 9-year-old and his dad discovered the 3-D digital models posted by this man and were quite inspired as a result. As with many of the projects that happen in our house, usually once someone shows a little bit of interest, an adult will often offer a casual suggestion, observation or pose a question which usually propels a slow Saturday into a very active and creative one.

After watching the following 10-second video featuring the 3-D digital feeder, someone wondered if it could be made in person, perhaps with legos®?

The process began by intensely watching the video for inspiration and was followed by a sketched out design by Dad (to prevent the take over of Dad’s computer during the rest of the afternoon).

The 9-year-old wanted to build "from the picture in his head," but Dad insisted on a quick sketch.

The 9-year-old wanted to build “from the picture in his head,” but Dad insisted on a quick sketch.

Then, our eldest child was off and running. He grabbed a motor and battery pack from the Simple and Motorized Mechanisms set and began the tedious process of trying to bring his design to life.

Starter Design

Starter Design

After a long time of work and a pretty good design, Dad was called in to help make the final push to completion (and to focus on some of the “detail” work). Our young engineer isn’t quite concerned (yet) about how his project looks – just how it functions. He’s nine. He has some time to learn.

After coming out for a few consultations with Dad, he would happily return to his “tinkering” studio to continue work on his model. Regardless of his finished product, we were thrilled that he spent a few hours building and reshaping a design of his own – and more importantly, he was enthralled with the process too.

The Brick Chronicles :: Not Just Dinosaurs, Sauropods

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

Sauropod, made by C, age 6.

Sauropod, made by C, age 6.

IMG_0877My youngest son is really into fossils and dinosaurs at the moment. At six, one would have thought he was past the “dinosaur” stage, but he likes to come into things in his own sweet time. Even though he’s been watching Dinosaur Train* for the last year or so, it’s only recently that he has become quite intrigued by these prehistoric animals. I think we have checked out nearly every juvenile book on dinosaurs from our local library. Since he’s so fascinated, his older brother has taken up an interest as well. They do that often, my children. They each have their own distinct interests, but they are also very willing to delve deeply into the passion of the other. It makes play time fun to watch.

A sauropod fossil, made by R, age 9.

A sauropod fossil, made by R, age 9.

* I have to admit that at first I thought this was a silly show designed to sell toys, but then I actually sat down and watched it with my kids and I have been quite impressed. From the catchy rock-a-billy opening to the unique “cast,” my kids have picked up a ton of accurate information about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. My favorite is the idea that a “time tunnel” is approaching – a fabulous way to help kids (and adults) to understand that not all of these dinosaurs lived during the same era.

 

 

The Brick Chronicles :: Scrambled States

The Brick Chronicles feature unique creations made with Lego® bricks. Hopefully you, and the children in your life, will find them as inspiring as I do!

The state of California built by Colt, age 9.

The state of California built by Colt, age 9.

After challenging my students to build a (somewhat) 2-D map with Legos®, I thought they were ready to try and build one of the states. We read the very silly book, The Scrambled States of America, and each student went to work. I did leave the book open to the map of the U.S. – just in case they needed a reference guide.

 

The state of Florida built by Owen, age 7.

The state of Florida built by Owen, age 7.

The state of Texas built by Elijah, age 8.

The states of Texas, Arkansas and Montana (I think)…built by Elijah, age 8.

The state of Hawaii built by Rainer, age 8. (I was really bummed about my blurry picture...this was such a great concept)!

The state of Hawaii built by Rainer, age 8. (I was really bummed about my blurry picture…this was such a great concept)!

The state of Texas built by Rebecca, age 10.

The state of Texas built by Rebecca, age 10.