X-Treme Team Sends Everyone to the Moon!

The First Lego League / Moonbots team I help mentor presented their Phase Two entry for the 2012 Google Lunar X-Prize LEGO Mindstorms Challenge at the Southern California Energy Summit this last Thursday and Friday (Oct 4th & 5th).

I am immensely proud of this year’s team. Their hard work, struggles and triumphs have made participating in this season’s entire project a transformational experience. I am certain the experience we have shared this summer will serve as a strong inspiration to persevere through any hurdles that arise in my own future creative endeavors.

X-Treme Team’s ambition in presenting imaginative and entertaining projects has been an exciting catalyst for me. Phase One centered on a video project that addressed the competition’s requirements. X-Treme Team wanted to make something truly memorable. After brainstorming what was possible, I helped teach the team how to shoot and edit a fun and challenging video involving green screen techniques and miniature videography. For three weeks I facilitated an intense yet fun film workshop to teach the team how to pull off the video project. We even crafted a low budget green screen studio in my backyard to shoot the miniature sets and props, all built out of LEGOs! Check out what they were able to create:

Phase Two involved creating an obstacle course for a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot to navigate through, while meeting point objectives within a five minute time limit. The team once again reached for a logistically ambitious goal that redefined my expectations on what the kids are capable of. Instead of settling for a traditional flat game board, they chose to create a board that involved multiple levels of terrain for the robot to travel through. Committed to impressing the judges with this “out of the box” approach to the Phase Two challenge, the kids and I spent two weeks building a massive four level game board, mapping out how a standard robot design could run through the course. If that wasn’t enough, the robot building team put together four different robot variations for them to use in their presentation at the Southern California Energy Summit.

Here’s some highlights on what the kids experienced at the Energy Summit!

I can’t express how meaningful my time with X-Treme Team has been. Next summer is so far away.

Update:
X-Treme Team’s presentation made front page news in our local newspaper, The Desert Sun!

The Desert Sun: Thumbs up: Indio robotic team shoots for the moon

Unfortunately, the article got some of the details on the team and the competition mixed up. But, at it’s heart, the article focused on how great X-Treme Team is, and how their ingenuity and creativity are inspirational for our community. This meant so much for the kids read!

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