Posts Tagged ‘Great Minds Robotics’

Robotics for Kids: Inspiration for Innovation

Friday, February 11th, 2011

As I take notes on my students’ progress after teaching a typical Enhanced Robotics class at Great Minds Learning Center, I can’t help but smile. The students had a ton of fun. They built awesome robots and played with them. They noticed some “bugs” in mechanics and programming of their robots, and came up with amazing improvements. They made corrections, and played some more. As the class wrapped up, they did not want to leave. It was definitely fun. Yet, there is something far beyond playing with these awesome toys… I reminisced my own childhood, my commencement into the world robotics.

I always liked robots. I thought of robots as highly intelligent “human helpers” – not better or smarter than humans – after all, It’s humans that engineer and program them – but certainly more suited for a particular task. When I thought “robot”, I thought of Lt. Commander Data, an android from Star Trek, or the ever-helpful, super resourceful R2-D2 from Star Wars. I thought of Isaac Asimov, not “The Terminator”. I started learning computer programming at age 11, and given my fascination with robots, it was simply natural for me to get involved in robotics. After examining several platforms, I settled on LEGO Mindstorms as my platform of choice. Some years later, Great Minds Learning Center and Great Minds Robotics program were born.

I am thrilled and excited beyond expression to see the recent developments in the world of robotics. I see students at our center that are likely to be a part of, if not the leaders of, amazing robotics projects in the not-so-distant future. Projects like NASA’s ATHLETE:

… which, by the way, can also dance:

Projects like uBot-5, a personal assistant for the elderly:

Quite possibly, our students can be a significant part of projects that will place a robot into your home in the not-so-distant future. Check out the awesome work by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal of MIT:

Projects like these require knowledge and innovation. Here at Great Minds Learning Center, kids in grades K-12 engineer and program awesome robots every day. They find original solutions to various challenges they encounter while building and programming their creations. They learn valuable skills while playing with really cool robots. They have fun while expanding their knowledge.

Inspire your child to innovate. Enroll them into Great Minds Robotics today!

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!

LEGO Creations – Reconstruction of the World’s Earliest Computer

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I just read this amazing article on MIT’s “Mims’s Bits” Technology Review blog, about an Apple engineer recreating an ancient Greek device – a mechanical computer, called the “Antikythera” mechanism. It was built over 2100 years ago (100 BC), and discovered in a shipwreck in 1901. This discovery was re-constructed; the LEGO design built by the Apple engineer is based on this reconstruction. It works by using precise gears, meshed in a particular way to perform mathematic calculations. Both the original device and the LEGO replica accurately preduct… solar eclipses!

Check out the original article here.

Great Minds Robotics students have not built an ancient Greek mechanical computer [yet]; but they do build and program plenty of cool and exciting projects in our classes and labs. Check out our Enhanced Robotics Curriculum for details!

Want to improve your LEGO building skills, so you too can make awesome LEGO creations? If you are a Great Minds Robotics student, join our LEGO workshop [or mini-workshop] on December 26 (check our schedule for details). Not a student yet? Sign up today!

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

Click here to read the full story…

We are listed in the business directory on MyFoxLA.com

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

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Great Minds Learning Center – 18801 Ventura Blvd. #110 Tarzana, CA, 91356