FIRST LEGO League registration is open now
Registration for this fall's FIRST LEGO League (FLL) season has begun. The 2007 Challenge is Power Puzzle - "Energy Resources - Meeting the Global Demand". You can get more details at http://www.firstlegoleague.org and you can register a team at http://register4fll.com/.
If you have any questions about FLL, post them here as a comment and we will do our best to answer or point you to the people who can.
I want to go there cause me and my dad is planning on starting a team and it is okay for my mom that we go there if it is in Atlanta, GA next year too. FLL looks so fun!
Larry, thanks for posting the dates - this looks like a completely new website for FLL (orange color) and the other "official" FLL site only said "April" for the championship...
Lots of potential - I'll be curious to see what they come up with.
Prices for mats and field kits didn't change, so I doubt there will be any high value parts. I hope they have a nice tie in between the missions and the research presentation links like they did for nano. The ties between the table, the video games, and the stories about the nano-tech researchers resonated with my kids.
As for merging LEGO and this season's FLL theme my daughter's team built electrical generators using LEGO, bar magnets from Radio Shack (LEGO magnets are wimpy) and motor wire from McMaster Carr. They even built a winder out of LEGO to make the wire winding go faster and be more uniform. The design is not optimal, but at a nice steady crank speed of 1 rpm and a 1:15 gear ratio we are getting 2.5-3 volts.
More importantly it does a great job demonstrating how energy can be changed from one form to another. At our field trip to the power plant they didn't make the connection from how burning something makes electricity. Burning->steam->spinning was easy, but spinning to electricity escaped them. No longer.
As for solar panels, the LEGO ones were rediculously overpriced. I got a bunch from Pitsco (I'm sure they were overpriced too). Making an adapter cable is pretty easy. Next task is to make a solar powered battery charger and see if we can do the whole FLL season using renewable energy.
Do you have any pictures or videos of your daughter's creations? If so, please write up a small description and email to me some details and I'd love to post about it on the blog. Sounds like you've got some future engineers on your hands :)
Really amazing stuff - not just the high-efficency cells, but the auto-power-on ability in the RCX, and the stepping up to run a Geiger counter off the system as well. I was really really REALLY hoping for a lowe-power mode in the NXT to duplicate some of this sort of thing... but maybe Justin (or someone like him) will make some progress there as well.