Monday, October 31, 2005

Try this one.

Write in an English sentence what this code will make the robot do. I wrote this last year.

Hint: The answer to a Yogi Berra riddle would be "Pick it up."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Agenda week of 10-31-05

There are three main priorities for Lego this week.

One will focusing on advancing our programming skills coupled with ROBUST DESIGN building.

The last will be the completing the set up of the Ocean Odyssey Challenge table.

I would like you to post a comment about this simple program.
Tell me in an English sentence what this piece of code will make a Robot do.

Naming our Sub Groups

We spoke about re-naming our sub-groups last week. I did not put much thought to the original names mainly because they work. Your groups are called Talent1, Talent2- functional but boring. I thought it might be fun for you to come up with names on your own. I thought it also might be a sneaky way for me to get you to explore the NASA site if I suggested that you take group names from the spaces vehicles or moons of planets from the NASA pages. Names like "The Titans" or "Eon" sound really neat. It would show me you went the sites, read the material, and it would honor our mentor.

Many of the photographs from space are there because of the work of our mentor, Dr. Antreasian.

A word about teams: We have one team for Lego Robotics. We will compete together as one unit. While we are learning to build and program we will work in smaller sub-groups. We will all learn more from each other and we will all find certain roles within our team. By working together, we will be able to bring much brain power to bear on our challenges. I will change members of the sub-groups often. The purpose of this is for us to really get to know each other well. It is also my way of getting slower groups going by bringing in more experienced students and if a group is strong, the new member might need to benefit from the new group's expertise. By constantly changing group members and groups, students will be forced to adapt and also to both teach and learn in a new situation for MAXIMUM achievement!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mentor News

Definitions of mentor on the Web:

to serve as a teacher or trusted counselor; "The famous professor mentored him during his years in graduate school"
a wise and trusted guide and advisor

In Greek mythology, Mentor was the son of Alcumus and, in his old age, a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus and his palace.

We have a new mentor for Lego Robotics at IS 93. I will tell you we went to Brebuef High School together. I will tell you he has an amazingly interesting job.

Peter Antreasian is his name. He will tell you about himself. I am very grateful to have him bring his experience and wisdom to our Lego Robotics team.

What is going to make our Club/Mentor slightly different than a traditional mentor relationship is that Peter Antreasian will mentor us from afar! We will use internet technology to communicate. Blogging, email, maybe, digital photography and who-knows-what-else will be used.


Wednesday Lego Progress

Hey guys,

Today was great. First of all:
•Many students came up during their lunch period to work on websites.
To seek out extra time to work on things you want to work shows great interest and motivation. Keep it up!
•During class, much progress was made on the Robolab programs.
You know, we do not always have to hit a grandslam Homerun. We need singles to make progress. ( Baseball World
Series -type lingo) In other words several students learned KEY tools in Robolab like the right-click- replace trick for
replacing an icon in the program line instead of deleting it, adding a new icon, and then re-wiring. That was a
tremendous time saving tool and shows progress in learning to be fluent in the Robolab program.

•Many new students have joined the Beacon Afterschool Lego activity. For the class groups, you may notice progress has been made on your project that you did not do yourself- it was not alien elves!
TEAMWORK is what we call this. As a group, we can accomplish more. Yes, many can do much alone- but together, the
sky is limit. (More on this later.)

•Ricky and Serge, two new sixth grade Beacon kids, have completed construction of the "Pipeline" mission which is part of the FLL Ocean Odyssey Challenge. You know how hard these are to construct. These two came up and in two days finished it.
Great job.

I want to see comments to this post from my Robotics kids. I want to read how your progress is going.
Friday is not Beacon. You will need a written, signed note from your parent to attend Friday, Robotics Club. We will meet
from dismissal to 5:00pm. I will give you my cell phone number so your parents can contact you by calling me in class for early pick-ups.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mr. Wright's Saturday Morning in Brooklyn

This is John and Corey from Visions Education.
These guys are two of the experts who help train other coaches like me. They train me- I train you!

They are testing a 'Bot on the Ocean Odessey Challenge game board. The training is taking place right now. I am working on a program to do the Dolphin challenge.
This is taking place at PolyTech University and is sponsored by Region 4 Technology.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Scientific Method

Hey everybody,
Today was an amazing day in class.

Here is a partial list of the activities all or some of you started, continued, or completed today during a 42 minute class period.

1. Built Simple-Bots
2. Initialized RCX
3. Loaded Robolab into Laptops
4. Programmed Robolab for 2' up and back Challenge
5. Put batteries into RCX
6. Loaded .vi Inventer program into RCX
7. Tested Simple-Bot
8. Entered the 5 steps of the Scientific Method into your Lego Journals.
9. Surfed Lego Blog

I am very happy to see so many more students adding data, observations, test results, hypothesis, predictions and other entries today. Keep up the good work!!!!!

Please, someone post the Scientific Method as I have it on the bulletin board in room 301. I think it will be a great addition to the Blog. I will allow you to use my admin id to create a fresh post.

Tomorrow! Great news! The user id's and passwords are working for your websites. I hate to take you away from continuing the challenge tomorrow so I may have only 12 of you working on your new websites. The other members of the Talent Crews will do all 9 activities listed above. You know what needs to be done.

***********Major recognition for the Talent6 group- You are the first group to build, initialize, program, load and test your bot! I think you are probably surprised that you came so far so quick. AND you entered everything into your journals! Hey everybody, that's what it looks like to get a 100% for the day. Excellent job!

If you care to comment today, please share how your activities are going, you know, problems you had, insights you came up with. Things like that.

See you.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

LegoRobotics Blog Challenge

Challenge to my students:
Pick one of the Science Standards I have posted below by browsing through them. Do any of seem like they were written for Robotics? I think so. See if you can write a comment to this post describing how LegoRobotics meets a specific standard. In other words, I can see direct correlations, one after the other, of how the problems of LegoRootics hits many many NYS Learning Standards for Science. Can you?

Pick one standard and tell how you see one specific thing about Robotics hits exactly that standard and is met by doing the aspects of Robitics you thought about.

You have to think about how we go about doing Robotics. You have to think about the Standards as you read them on the blog posting. Then you have to write how they are same thing. Got it?

Read the Blog.
Comment as described above. No last names- no personal info- No talking to or meeting of strangers-EVER!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

7th Grade Science Standards NYS

Science Standards for NY, Grade 7

Analysis, Inquiry and Design: Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Scientific Inquiry: The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process.

Students formulate questions independently with the aid of references appropriate for guiding the search for explanations of everyday observations.

Students represent, present, and defend their proposed explanations of everyday observations so that they can be understood and assessed by others.

Students seek to clarify, to assess critically, and to reconcile with their own thinking the ideas presented by others, including peers, teachers, authors, and scientists.

Scientific Inquiry: Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity.

Students use conventional techniques and those of their own design to make further observations and refine their explanations, guided by a need for more information.

Students develop, present, and defend formal research proposals for testing their own explanations of common phenomena, including ways of obtaining needed observations and ways of conducting simple controlled experiments.

Students carry out their research proposals, recording observations and measurements (e.g., lab notes, audio tape, computer disk, video tape) to help assess the explanation.

Scientific Inquiry: The observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into phenomena.

Students design charts, tables, graphs and other representations of observations in conventional and creative ways to help them address their research question or hypothesis.

Students interpret the organized data to answer the research question or hypothesis and to gain insight into the problem.

Students modify their personal understanding of phenomena based on evaluation of their hypothesis.

Mathematical Analysis: Abstraction and symbolic representation are used to communicate mathematically.

Students extend mathematical notation and symbolism to include variables and algebraic expressions in order to describe and compare quantities and express mathematical relationships.

Mathematical Analysis: Deductive and inductive reasoning are used to reach mathematical conclusions.

Students use inductive reasoning to construct, evaluate, and validate conjectures and arguments, recognizing that patterns and relationships can assist in explaining and extending mathematical phenomena.

Mathematical Analysis: Critical thinking skills are used in the solution on mathematical problems.

Students apply mathematical knowledge to solve real-world problems that arise from the investigation of mathematical ideas, using representations such as pictures, charts, and tables.

Engineering Design: Engineering design is an iterative process involving modeling and optimization finding the best solution within given constraints which is used to develop the logical solutions to problems within given constraints.

Students identify needs and opportunities for technical solutions from an investigation of situations of general or social interest.

Students locate and utilize a range of printed, electronic, and human information resources to obtain ideas.

Students consider constraints and generate several ideas for alternative solutions, using group and individual ideation techniques (group discussion, brainstorming, forced connections, role play); defer judgment until a number of ideas have been generated; evaluate (critique) ideas; and explain why the chosen solution is optimal.

Students develop plans, including drawings with measurements and details of construction, and construct a model of the solution, exhibiting a degree of craftsmanship.

Students, in a group setting, test their solution against design specifications, present and evaluate results, describe how the solution might have been modified for different or better results, and discuss trade-offs that might have to be made.

Information Systems: Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Information Systems: Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

Students use a range of equipment and software to integrate several forms of information in order to create good quality audio, video, graphic, and text-based presentations.

Students use spreadsheets and database software to collect, process, display, and analyze information. Students access needed information from electronic databases and on-line telecommunication services.

Students collect data from probes to measure events and phenomena.

Students use simple modeling programs to make predictions.

Information Systems: Knowledge of the impacts and limitations of information systems is essential to its effective and ethical use.

Students understand the need to question the accuracy of information displayed on a computer because the results produced by a computer may be affected by incorrect data entry.

Students identify advantages and limitations of data-handling programs and graphics programs.

Students understand why electronically stored personal information has greater potential for misuse than records kept in conventional form.

Information Systems: Information technology can have positive and negative impacts on society, depending upon how it is used.

Students use graphical, statistical, and presentation software to presents project to fellow classmates.

Students describe applications of information technology in mathematics, science, and other technologies that address needs and solve problems in the community.

Students explain the impact of the use and abuse of electronically generated information on individuals and families.

The Physical Setting: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

The Earth and celestial phenomena can be described by principles of relative motion and perspective.

Students explain daily, monthly, and seasonal changes on earth.

Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.

Students explain how the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), and lithosphere (land) interact, evolve, and change.

Students describe volcano and earthquake patterns, the rock cycle, and weather and climate changes.

Matter is made up of particles whose properties determine the observable characteristics of matter and its reactivity.

Students observe and describe properties of materials, such as density, conductivity, and solubility.

Students distinguish between chemical and physical changes.

Students develop their own mental models to explain common chemical reactions and changes in states of matter.

Energy exists in many forms, and when these forms change energy is conserved.

Students describe the sources and identify the transformations of energy observed in everyday life.

Students observe and describe heating and cooling events.

Students observe and describe energy changes as related to chemical reactions.

Students observe and describe the properties of sound, light, magnetism, and electricity.

Students describe situations that support the principle of conservation of energy.

Energy and matter interact through forces that result in changes in motion.

Students describe different patterns of motion of objects.

The Living Environment: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Living things are both similar to and different from each other and nonliving things.

Students compare and contrast the parts of plants, animals, and one-celled organisms.

Students explain the functioning of the major human organ systems and their interactions.

Organisms inherit genetic information in a variety of ways that result in continuity of structure and function between parents and offspring.

Students describe sexual and asexual mechanisms for passing genetic materials from generation to generation.

Students describe simple mechanisms related to the inheritance of some physical traits in offspring.

Individual organisms and species change over time.

Students describe sources of variation in organisms and their structures and relate the variations to survival.

Students describe factors responsible for competition within species and the significance of that competition.

The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.

Students observe and describe the variations in reproductive patterns of organisms, including asexual and sexual reproduction.

Students explain the role of sperm and egg cells in sexual reproduction.

Students observe and describe cell division at the microscopic level and its macroscopic effects.

Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life.

Students compare the way a variety of living specimens carry out basic life functions and maintain dynamic equilibrium.

Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.

Students describe the flow of energy and matter through food chains and food webs.

Students provide evidence that green plants make food and explain the significance of this process to other organisms.

Human decisions and activities have had a profound impact on the physical and living environment.

Students describe how living things, including humans, depend upon the living and nonliving environment for their survival.

Students describe the effects of environmental changes on humans and other populations.

Interconnectedness: Common Themes: Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.

Systems Thinking: Through systems thinking, people can recognize the commonalities that exist among all systems and how parts of a system interrelate and combine to perform specific functions.

Students identify common things that can be considered to be systems (e.g., a plant population, a subway system, human beings).

Magnitude and Scale: The grouping of magnitudes of size, time, frequency, and pressures or other units of measurement into a series of relative order provides a useful way to deal with the immense range and the changes in scale that affect the behavior and design of systems.

Students identify the biggest and the smallest values as well as the average value of a system when given information about its characteristics and behavior.

Patterns of Change: Identifying patterns of change is necessary for making predictions about future behavior and conditions.

Students use simple instruments to measure such quantities as distance, size, and weight and look for patterns in the data.

Optimization: In order to arrive at the best solution that meets criteria within constraints, it is often necessary to make trade-offs.

Students use simple quantitative methods, such as ratios, to compare costs to benefits of a decision problem.

Interdisciplinary Problem Solving: Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

Connections: The knowledge and skills of mathematics, science, and technology are used together to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially those relating to issues of science/technology/society, consumer decision making, design, and inquiry into phenomena.

Students make informed consumer decisions by seeking answers to appropriate questions about products, services, and systems; determining the cost/benefit and risk/benefit tradeoffs; and applying this knowledge to a potential purchase.

Students design solutions to real-world problems of general social interest related to home, school, or community using scientific experimentation to inform the solution and applying mathematical concepts and reasoning to assist in developing a solution.

Students describe and explain phenomena by designing and conducting investigations involving systematic observations, accurate measurements, and the identification and control of variables; by inquiring into relevant mathematical ideas; and by using mathematical and technological tools and procedures to assist in the investigation.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Teachers/ websites

Anyone interested in a quick, effective web site. See Mr. Wright to get one started.

Robolab, Thursday 10/6/05

I would like to thank Robert for presenting Robolab today. I could tell by all of the hands in the air that many people understood the basics already. Just think, this is all new to everyone but instead of being lost or feeling like you can not do it, I think, almost everyone was following along and no one felt totally lost. You will get your chance next time we meet to program in Robolab.

Remeber, it is all new. That's all- just new. Not impossible.

Next week we continue the challenge of making and programming a robot the moves up two feet, stops, and then reverses two feet.

When you come into the class, get your kit and Robot. Everyone gets out their Journals. One person will get a laptop to start programming the RCX at the same table with their group where the Robot is being constructed.

If you have not initialized the RCX yet, get that step done. Robert and Gary will help you with that. All it means is that we have to get the Infrared tower to recognize the laptop and vice versa.

If I have not given you batteries yet, see me to get them. They need to be in the RCX to be to get initialized and then programmed.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Photo of Me

This is me in my office. The pencil growing out of my ear is indeed a #2.

Lego Robotics this week: 10-5, 10-7

Hi Guys,
This week:
-Expect to continue working on the first challenge for newbies: Create a Robot that moves forward two feet, stops for a moment, then reverses to its original starting point.

-The other guys will continue to assemble the challenge missions from the Ocean Odyssey. Once the missions are assembled, they will attempt to accomplish a mission.

-Robert will present the first introduction to programming in Robolab. I am looking forward to that!

Please remember that cleaning up at the end of the period helps to maintain the sanity of Mr. Wright.

See you Monday, on time, of course.
Mr. Wright

Link Index for Teachers,

Teachers can organize important links for a lesson or for professional use.

If you want students to search or "Google" a topic they can easily search aimlessly for hours. Giving students say 2 to 6 websites that the you have already researched for appropriate content, their search is focused and hopefully more productive. You can list your links on an index that you can send them to on the web. They search from there from your references.

I have my links organized on a web-based index. In other words, there is a website that I joined where I am able to cut and paste the addresses of the links I want my students to use. Go look: My user name is fwright2.

Users can log in to fwright2 as a guest to view and click on my links. Currently, I have two crucial websites for my Lego-Robotics class, a lego site with all of the missions for our upcoming competition and another with manuals, how-to's, and other information to help my students learn how to plan, build and program their robots.

I can help you to sign-up and get started anytime.