i think i wrote about this last year–same time of year, after all. son’s lego robotics tournament was today, and the theme was nature’s fury. this was the setup of the course, and there were 20 missions this year! at least this year i understood it a bit more! 😀 while last year, because of where my workplace is and where son’s school is, i wasn’t able to pick him up after his meetings, this year, i kinda had to find a way to get over there to pick him up because of the irresponsibility of the person who used to get him. so every day i’d leave work earlier than normal, make the long drive in traffic to get him, and then drive back home in even worse traffic. yesterday, we were there until 8:15 at night! i had come at 5:30 to pick him up, so i got almost 3 hours worth of watching them do test runs, and i understood the whole shebang a lot better. it was actually kinda cute, as i found out about the missions. lift the house to prevent floods. rescue the pets and return them to their owners. send a cargo plane. put the evacuation sign up. and all done with this little lego robot!

son’s team was very small this year, but everyone agreed that this was to their advantage–they all got along well together and rarely argued over what to do. something i’ve been advocating for at my own job! i think one of our big problems is that we’re just a large group–there’s 12 of us, where some groups only have 3 or 4. and it’s just so hard to get everyone there at the same time, much less everyone together on the same page. but, anyway, son’s small group really helped them, and they even won an award at the tournament for their cooperation and having the “core values.” which, the person i was working with at the tournament told me, is more important than actually winning the robot design or missions. she pointed out one of the core values to me–“what we discover is more important than what we win” which i really like! (non-competitive person that i am 😛 ) the whole purpose of this tournament is to have kids work together and problem solve, so i’m proud the boys got recognized for that, even if they didn’t do as well on their missions. 😛 they also did double their score every round, so that showed the problem-solving aspect coming in, which made me happy as well.

i actually didn’t get to see much of the tournament because i volunteered as a worker. in fact, each member of our team had a parent who volunteered, where i saw other schools had teachers as volunteers. the person i worked with was a teacher who didn’t even have any kids of her own (“just the four-legged kind,” she told me), but yet was there helping out the whole day. even at my own school the robotics coach asked teachers to volunteer, and i kept thinking, why the teachers? it’s the parents who should! that should be a condition of being on the team! but i guess i kinda saw why–while all the parents of kids from the other schools got to sit and enjoy the tournament, we were away working. still. i always think you can’t expect the school to do everything, you need a little from the parents as well. ah, well. “if only i ran this world…”

anyway, son’s team did not advance to states, but that’s okay. they did get to take home a trophy for the core values, and that was a great learning experience for them. 🙂 even if they did not win any trophy, i think the working together and problem solving skills they learn are rewards enough!



  1. story3girl Said:

    I love Lego robotics! I think it’s such a fantastic way to learn a variety of science skills and it’s just so neat. I’m so glad your son enjoyed it.

    • malia Said:

      thanks! yes, it’s a great way to learn all that physics stuff i never learned because i never took the class, thinking it would be way over my head. now if they used legos…that would be a whole different story! 🙂

  2. katiclops Said:

    This sounds SO COOL!!!! I wish they had something like this when I was a kid – we used lego for physics and I still remember the stuff I learned: what a great opportunity!

    • malia Said:

      it is pretty cool! i’m amazed at the stuff they can program that little thing to do, at only 11, 12 years old! i totally wish we had this when i was growing up!

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