Friday, August 31, 2007
Here’s a heart-felt story. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published a story on Bennett Shakoske, a senior driven to beat the odds and finish high school. He had difficulty reading in the first grade and considering “giving up” until he repeated first grade with a teacher who used his love of LEGO building to instill self-confidence. According to the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University, a child who is four or five months behind a the end of the first grade has only one chance in five or six of reading at grade level in a traditional school environment. However, in Bennett’s case, just one teacher’s encouragement can impact a student’s path to success. What a cool way to spark confidence.
You can read all about Bennett here
Monday, August 27, 2007
While we're on the subject of LEGO building and car assembly, check out this wild YouTube video of a LEGO MINDSTORMS powered car assembly line that actually assembles a LEGO car piece by piece.
Who says the 9 to 5 has to be boring? And who says playing with LEGO bricks is only for kids? A growing number of companies are seeing the value that LEGO play can bring to their teams across all kinds of factors, like teamwork, communication, innovative ideation and more fun. Check out this story that talks about LEGO Serious Play -- a way to harness creative LEGO play for the benefit of offices around the world.
Learn more about Serious Play here.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Creation Nation has invaded Canada, stopping at the CNE in Toronto to encourage thousands of kids and adults to add their creativity to the efforts to break the world record for the largest LEGO Tower! And of course they did it! The tower was topped off yesterday at 29.03 meters (95 feet), beating the previous record by more than 1 meter. It will be on display until the end of the month, so be sure to check it out!
Creative LEGO play came to life this week at the Vandenberg Middle School library where faculty members participating in a brainstorm were asked to represent a more student-centered culture through LEGO bricks. Teachers used LEGO bricks to create individual representations of their ideal classrooms and their classroom community goals.
The assignment gave teachers a chance to express their creative ideas. One teacher created a “learning community” complete with ladders, a tree and a spider. He explained, “The tree is organic and growing, the way the brain works. The spider represents the gross stuff in history.”
You can read all about it here
Thursday, August 23, 2007
What office professional doesn't love Mr. Stephen Colbert? This Office Manager was backstage earlier this week for the debut of everyone's favorite lawyer cum LEGO artist, Nathan Sawaya, in the hot seat across from Stephen. Things got a little sticky as Stephen questioned the value of LEGO art, until he saw himself in life-sized 3D LEGO glory, at which point he declared he was "starting to see the value of the work now." Check it out here!
Are bugs preventing you from enjoying your summer swim? Worry no more. A family in New Zealand has just created SPIT - Swimming Pool Insect Terminator. And they created it out of Mindstorms NXT. The robot floats on the water, locates the bugs and then destroys them, making for a more peaceful summer night. Check out all of the details, including building instructions, here.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A LEGO ipod? Yes—someone in the community has finally celebrated one design icon using bricks. While there is some friendly debate about the design quality—we still think it ‘rocks!’ Between this and the recent Guitar Hero controller, these posts are making me want to get musical!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Mindstorms creations are making news again. Editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of the Long Tail, Chris Anderson spoke at last week's NI conference about the technology and how the masses can now be innovative - cheap. Mindstorms is a great example of this. Check out the story here for more details!
MSU's College of Engineering recent conference trained K-12 teachers on bringing life to the run-of-the-mill math or science lesson. The Summer Magnet and Related Training Institute showcased innovative techniques teachers can integrate into their curriculum, including building robotic fish or car from LEGO Mindstorms.
Friday, August 10, 2007
In only its second year, the build-off doubled its participation level and quadrupled its raised funds for a whopping $5,000 this year! Nice job Mandy! Watch the WDBJ 7 video clip to check out some of the awesome creations participants built! (Video link is in the left hand corner).
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Tuesday morning a giant figure washed ashore at a beach resort in Zandvoort in the northern Netherlands. Workers at a drinks stall on the beach noticed the giant figure in the water and fished him out of the sea. The making of the figure is obviously inspired by LEGO minifigures. He is 8 feet tall (2.5 meters) and on his chest it says “No real than you are”. On the back, he carries the name “Ego Leonard 9”. Nobody in the LEGO Group seems to know anything about the figure – who made him, and where did he come from? Beach guests don’t care… they are having a great time looking at him and taking pictures.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Kids at a Georgetown College summer camp are learning to save the world, one robotic command at a time. The campers learn how robots aid humans in bomb disposal, manufacturing, surgery and household chores. The lucky campers camp use LEGO Mindstorms to build high-performance products and “teach” robots to move magnets, avoid soling cloth and complete other projects under 2 ½ minutes. Read all about it here.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Check out Gizmodo's report on this life-size desk made entirely out of LEGO bricks. Just imagine the corner office with the best view, crowned with this jewel, though not sure you'd want to put your feet up on its bumpy top. Think of how creative you'd be if your desk was like this one! Office Manager says "wicked cool!"