Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's a Lego World

For the last few weeks,
a local library has hosted a challenge.
Kids could bring in their favorite Lego build
and have it displayed in the case that greets visitors.
C was up for the challenge,
and in fact, 
contributed several builds.
Those are his Mario and Windows logo creations in the bottom left corner,
as well as the jet on the bottom right.
His are all free builds,
which means that no kit is used in the creating.
He fashions these masterpieces from his own imagination.
He truly amazes me with some of the things he comes up with.

The folks at the library told us that by far,
his Creeper build from the Minecraft game
was the most popular.
The head swivels and the legs move too,
but it seems the kids just enjoy the likeness alone.

We participated in a Lego Robotics class last week.
This workshop was sponsored by the local 4-H club.

The kids (all boys in this class) were given a laptop
and a robot from the EV-3 Lego series.
C has one of these at home, so he was quite familiar with it.
The kids were asked to perform several programming functions
to make their robot do designated tasks.

This robot was able to follow the tape line
using color sensors. 
It detected the difference between the grey carpet and the white tape.

Another task the kids were asked to program their robots to do
was to follow this maze from one end to the other.
It took a bit of tweaking,
but changing the program via the computer
enabled the kids to be successful through trial-and-error. 
A great way to learn so many lessons,
including perseverance.

C was able to rebuild his robot so that it could perform the way he wanted.
He noticed several characteristics on some of the other robots
that he thought would work better,
so he rebuilt his to make it more efficient.

What a great activity for him.
It not only fostered confidence in his skills,
but it gave him the opportunity to interact with other kids
who share a similar interest.
We are grateful for these experiences,
as they allow him to process social skills
in a natural world environment,
something for which we can never get enough practice.

We think it's wonderful that the 4-H program 
is willing to work with kids with disabilities
(not everyone is),
and include them in these valuable experiences.

We're considering starting a Lego Build club
at the library we featured at the head of this post.
Any chance we get to have kids unplugged
and using their imaginations
is something we can get behind.
Build on!