Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Nerd Fest

I spent today at the Gathering of the Nerds, more commonly known as the Computer Science Teachers' Academy. While we were there, we built these:

This is a Mindstorm Lego Robot. We built it, complete with light sensors, touch sensors, swivel arms, sound systems, and all sorts of other things. These things are amazing! Once you build the robot (which has several small motors, by the way), you program it with your computer. It has Bluetooth technology. You can make it rotate, respond to stimuli, and do all sorts of tricks with it. The programming doesn't require any computer language skills-it is all graphic with drag and drop "pieces". It's wonderful as an introduction to actual programming because the commands, tasks, and order of operation are worked out on a graphic picture board. Go to the Lego website if you need more info. As for me? You betcha I'm gonna be begging my school to buy some! If you're a homeschooler, spend the money on this technology. It's worth it.

There are actual competitions for these modules. Here's a picture of the latest competition board:

Students program their robots to perform a series of specific tasks, such as knocking down flags, placing an item in a certain spot, climbing ramps, etc. within a certain time frame.

There were nerds everywhere. Here's some of them:

And me? Yes, I'm a nerd. And I brought another nerd with me. Here he is:

And I'm the smarter nerd, because I made him do all the work while I played with the camera. You can see how hard he's working in this shot:

And to put an end to the rumor that computer nerds survive on pizza and caffeine, check out these photos:

Guess Who Stopped by My House Again Today
Here's a clue:

Stay tuned.


CandlebyNight said...

Ok Grace, inquiring minds want to know....Are those all patterns? And did all that come in the mail today? Is this your sewing room???

Juliane said...

Well, yes, they ARE all patterns, except for those 2 large bolts of fabric. It came in the last 2 days and I'm hiding it in there from my husband. And yes, that is the sewing room. At least that's what is in the doorway at this moment. The rest of the room looks like a fabric store threw up in it, too.

Gary said...

looks like y'all had a lot of fun!