Archive for the ‘FIRST LEGO League’ Category

Camps, Competitions, and Projects, Oh My!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Hello everyone! My name is Kristina, and I am a Lead Instructor here at Great Minds Robotics®. I have recently been appointed as the new GMR Blogger; after reviewing the blog I realized how much has happened since the last post! Let’s do a quick recap, shall we?

  • Our winter camp, “RoboSynergy: Trains++”, wrapped up a few weeks ago. Students designed, built, and programmed a sophisticated Train Control System powered by Arduino microcontrollers, using languages and technologies such as C++, C#, Web Services, wireless communication, and more. Phase II was right on track; boarding for Phase III will begin shortly. Don’t miss out, get on-board!
  • GMR Train Ticket

  • SkyBase, our “giant metal robot” as called by most of our students, recently got an upgrade. Last summer our students programmed this robot to play tic-tac-toe on the SmartBoard using RobotC and C# languages. That was fun, but watching the robot move across its 18’ beam and up/down to the right position autonomously was a bit…well, boring. So, we built an Arduino sensor that allowed us to move this robot with an Xbox 360 controller. Suddenly, the tic-tac-toe game became a lot more fun! We liked the outcome so much, we plan to do more cool stuff using Arduino and Xbox 360 controllers with our Skybase this upcoming 2015 RoboSynergy summer camp.
  • The “Game of Drones” is an interactive project that allows us to control a quadrocopter using an Xbox 360 / PS4 controller. We are able to receive a live video feed from the Parrot AR Drone and display it on screen in a student-written C# program. The objective of the game is to knock down the three defense towers set up around the 8’x8’ game table and land on the center landing pad before the opposing team shoots your drone down with a LEGO NXT Photon Cannon! Throughout the game you can see live updates on the SmartBoard, which receives real-time info from the sensors in the defense towers and on the landing pad, each connected to an EV3 microcontroller. Check out this video from our 2014 summer camp!
  • DroneWithLogo

  • The 2014-2015 Robotics competition season is going great for our teams. FLL teamsEduTech” and “Autobots 2.0” won 1st place at their respective Qualifying Tournaments, and had a stellar performance at the Los Angeles Regional Championship Tournament. Team “Autobots 2.0” emerged as the Champions for Los Angeles Region, and advanced to North America Open Tournament in LEGOLAND, California, which takes place mid-May 2015. This year we also competed in our very first VEX IQ competition. Team “IQ Cubed” took home the top award at that event and advanced to the Southern California VEX IQ State Tournament. We will be showing our love for the team on February 14th in Pasadena, California. For more details on these events check out our Facebook page!
  • Thanks for reading! Keep checking in for more frequent updates. That’s all for now!

Great Minds Robotics FLL Teams move up to LA Regional Championship; Incaendium wins 1st Place Champion’s Award at Qualifying Tournament.

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Congratulations to our fantastic FIRST LEGO League teams – we are extremely proud of you! All 3 teams qualified to compete in the Los Angeles Regional Championship Tournament, and all 3 teams received meaningful awards for their hard work. We are especially proud of Team 408 – Incaendium – an all-girls, first-year team, winning the prestigious 1st Place Champion’s Award at the Qualifying Tournament! To put our teams’ performance in perspective – this season, there are 11 Qualifying Tournaments in the Los Angeles region, with 292 teams competing; only 88 teams qualify to continue competing in this season’s Championship Tournament, and only 11 teams are awarded the Champion’s Award.

Excellent job, Team Incaendium, Team Faultline, and Team Autobots! Big “Thank You”s to all parent volunteers and to our team mentors, Brian and Jesse!

The A-TEAM scores big at FLL 2011

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Great Minds Robotics students get high score at the Blockhead 2011 FLL Food Factor Challenge Los Angeles Region Qualifier.

Our FIRST® LEGO® League competitors, The A-TEAM, planned, put together, and programmed their way to the highest score of the day at La Cañada High School’s Blockhead qualifier.

Watch the video to see the action.

That footage came from a special single elimination tournament: The Food Fight. Great Minds Learning Center’s The A-TEAM gained entry by earning an official top four score for the day. But qualifying was only one thing. Winning was something else entirely.

Single elimination tournaments are kinda tough. If you don’t score higher than your opponent, you’re out. Our students had to execute two winning excursions in a row. Fortunately, this competition was fun because official judging for FLL had already ended.

It turns out that The A-TEAM earned high score of the entire day in the final round of the Food Fight Tournament. They won!

Here’s the cool secret to their success: it was all expertly planned ahead.

If you’re new to FLL and robotics, our announcer forgot to mention this during his commentary: The robot you saw was not remote controlled. It was programmed ahead of time by our students to do those tasks on its own.

That kind of programming is one of many things we teach. Children enrolled here are taught how to plan, prepare and compete on their own. This works for FLL because adult coaches and instructors can only advise. They’re not allowed to design the robots or write the programs. It’s up to the kids to do that themselves.

Our instruction also works for life. We teach our students to think critically when solving a problem (and we do it in a fun and exciting way). The reward for this is more than just one solution; it’s the skills needed to find many solutions.

If you’re local to Tarzana, California and want to learn more of what we’re about, schedule a FREE VIP tour. There’s no obligation or pressure to enroll. We’re not into that.

If you take the tour and like what you see, but aren’t yet certain you should sign up, we even offer one-on-one trial classes. They’re only $50 and the money you invest can be put toward your child’s first month of classes.

Not every Great Minds Robotics student can make the FLL team, but all of them get the level of instruction and attention they need to help make it in life.

Hope to see you here.

Great Minds Robotics is forming FLL Teams for 2011 Food Factor Challenge. Apply Now!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Students of ages 9 through 14 are invited to apply for this year’s FIRST LEGO League competition. Applications are available to enrolled students at Great Minds Robotics location in Tarzana, CA.

We updated our FAQ section based on recent questions from our students and their parents. Please review this section, as it may answer many questions you might have about the FLL competition. Of course, if you don’t see an answer to your question, please contact us – we’ll be sure to address it.

While we do not have a schedule for training sessions yet, we plan to have a number of sessions in the summer, and weekly sessions starting September 2011. We will post the schedule as soon as we have it.

Check out this blog entry from last year’s FLL event for in-depth understanding of what FLL competitions entail, the challenges the kids have to overcome, and the awesome rewards our team earned last year.

Not yet a student at Great Minds Robotics? Give your son or daughter an opportunity to shine as they contribute to their team’s success. Enroll today!

Know someone else who might be interested? Refer a friend and we’ll be sure to thank you!

Happy New Year from Great Minds Learning Center!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Launched in December 2009, Great Minds Learning Center wraps up its first full year of operation – 2010. Our students build many cool robots, and some very exciting robotic projects, such as the RoboGarage, and a Giant Ferris Wheel. Robotics and Enhanced Robotics students participated in exciting competitions, such a Medieval Robotics Competition and FLL Tournaments. Our FIRST LEGO League team – The NXT Generation – even got as far as Los Angeles Championship event, as one of only 40 teams [out of about 1,400 in the LA region]. We wrapped up the FLL season by winning the Quality Design Award for our robot at the Championship event:

With many new and exciting projects in store for 2011, we are very excited about our program for the upcoming year. We will be exploring green energy, such as solar and wind power. We will be making exciting games involving multiple robots. We will… give you more details in 2011. Enroll today to be a part of our exciting program in the upcoming year.

Want to learn how to build cool robots and compete with others in fierce, yet fun, tournaments? We are going to run two FLL teams for 2011’s Food Factor challenge – and we are looking for new team members now! Enroll today!

Happy New Year!

Great Minds Robotics Students Win 1st Place in Los Angeles Region Qualifying FLL Tournament

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010 was an awesome day for FLL Team 4428 – The NXT Generation – a FIRST LEGO League team consisting of 7 students attending the Enhanced Robotics Program at Great Minds Learning Center. Actually, it was an awesome weekend – two competitions (a Local and a Qualifying event), two First Place Robot Performance Awards (one in each competition), and a First Place Champion’s Award in the Qualifying Tournament, for a total of three awards! Of course, it takes much more than showing up to a competition to win an award – it takes hard work, many hours of training, learning, researching, practicing and solving challenges encountered along the way. It takes teamwork and team spirit. Even then, it’s not easy.

Great Minds Learning Center's FLL Team

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