Friday, July 22, 2011

Robot Progress

Our robot design has turned out to be very effective. In the back of the robot we have two very large wheels geared down to increase accuracy. In the front we have a set of pivoting plastic tracks to help climb ridges and craters. To transfer power from the wheels to our tracks we use a set of rubber tracks. Unlike using gears or chain to transfer power, the rubber tracks greatly increases our ability to climb over obstacles. Our arm consists of two motors. One NXT motor that lifts/lowers the arm, and a Power Functions motor that allows us to open and close our claw. This allows us to pick up the helium/water whether they are upright, fallen over, sideways, or upside down. Our robot is made solely out of yellow and black pieces for a “cool” factor. The robot is fairly heavy due to its size, brick, 4 motors, and a power functions battery pack. It does however function smoothly and effectively. Mission control is closed for 10 days due to the fact that three of our Moonbot members are on vacation.  It will be crunch time when we return back to head quarters.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Story Time!

So far we have drafted half of our book. The book keeps being edited, re-edited and yet again re-edited. We now understand why it can take authors about two years to write and complete a storybook.  Currently our illustrator, Anita,  has drawn pictures for half of the storybook.  We decided to tell half of the story to the children next-door to see how well children liked and understood the story line.  They made some great suggestions, that we never would have thought of. We have already started to make these changes. The children could not believe that "REAL ROBOTS" are ACTUALLY GOING TO THE MOON.

Questions and comments from the kids:
Are robots really going to the moon?
Why are they going to the moon?
 I didn't know there were real robots going to the moon.
How do you make a LEGO robot?
How does a robot get to the moon?
I will like your book better when I can see more pictures of robots.
I want to go to Mars because I like to play in the sand.

Best of all........."After our nap,  we will come over to hear the rest of the story."

Writing a storybook book is harder than it appears. It never seems to be perfect, there is always room for improvement.  We are asking for ideas from children of different ages to contribute to the story. We are enjoying the journey, and can't wait to finish and release our final product.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Journal Entry One

Team just Ducky met with Karen Pavlicin, award-winning writer, and shared our outreach project/storybook.  We appreciated Karen's excellent feedback, ideas, and advice.  We were inspired, at the same time, overwhelmed with the tasks that lay ahead.  It seems impossible to create, illustrate, and write a good story in just a matter of a few weeks!  Out team will work long hours to make the impossible possible.

Progress to date:

  • targeted our demographic audience
  • story will be educational with lots of good information
  • teachers can use the book to teach
  • story will hold kids interest and they will want to read it again and again
  • story contains challenges, obstacles, and of course a happy ending
  • identified the setting
  • created qualities of characters 
  • determined location for press release
  • created storyboard  
  • discussed fun storyline and illustrations

Now we will work on the hardest part:  Telling the story

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Team Just Ducky

Hi everybody! Team Just Ducky is honored to be selected from the 75 talented teams worldwide. Congratulations to all.