Please Help Our Team! We need your input!

Help the team by visiting the Our Project tab. Read about our project, and then participate in our poll on the right sidebar by Wednesday, January 18th.
The information will help us show the judges at the tournament Saturday how many people know about our project. Thank You!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Weeks Past

Since the last post, we have had three meetings (sorry!). In the first meeting, we looked over our scores from Regionals, and set some goals; among them are speed up the robot runs. The team decided that the best way to do that would be to make a couple of new, several-task attachments. We also talked about more possible ways we could share our Project.

At the second meeting, we worked some more on our new attachments for most of the meeting. We also practiced our skit, and decided that posting a video (not yet taken) on YouTube would be a good way to share.

Not everyone was here today, so the planned skit taping was postponed. Instead, we practiced both our skit and our table runs (we were a little rusty on the table runs!), and we worked on the new attachments some more. The attachments are slow coming to fruition because of some misunderstandings as to what they are exactly to do!

Next week: a video, and more practicing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

On To Greensboro!

Saturday was the First Lego League North Carolina District 5 Regional Qualifier Tournament. We signed in at 7:00 AM (really early!), then we had our judgings starting at 10. The Robot Design judging was first, then Core Values, and Project was last. At 12:30, there was a parade of teams, and the Robot Performance section got under way.

We scored a 71 in our first run, an 82 in our second run, and a 91 in our final run. The top score in Robot Performance was 217. However, we scored a 4 or a 5 out of five in all of our judgings. We won the Project Research Award, and received one of the ten invitations to the State Tournament in Greensboro, NC, in January.This just goes to prove that the Robot performance score isn't everything.

We will be taking a couple of weeks off before preparing for the State Tournament. Everyone is SO excited!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Help our team!

We need your input! Help the team by visiting the Our Project tab above, reading about our project, and then participating in our poll on the right sidebar by 6:00 PM, November 11th.

The information will help us show the judges at the tournament Saturday how many people know about our project.

Thank You!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The past few weeks

 Over the past few weeks, we have met four times- twice on a Wednesday, once on a Friday, and once on a Saturday. Over those two days (Plus a little outside work), we completed several other missions on the board. Our total are: Pest Removal, Pollution Reversal, Corn Harvest (not full credit), Fishing, Disinfect, and Hand Washing, both bacterial and viral. A practice tournament last Monday got us 108 out of 456 possible points, good enough for second place by four points. This is probably the hardest board ever.

As for the project, the infomercial to promote our product, the PureFlour 2000, designed to remove weevils and their eggs from flour, has taken shape. It has an interview with the inventor, and testimonials by a restaurant owner and a home chef who is baking cookies with friends. All we need to do is to practice it!

And we don't have much time to practice, as the Raliegh Area Veteran Qualifying Tounament is Saturday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Meeting 7 - Mission Accomplished

After a few weeks of inactivity, the team finally got back together again last Wednesday. This week, the robot, board, and computers were out, and we made some headway on the board. The robot was finalized, some new attatchments were created, and our first program got its start. The mission: Pest Removal - take the rats off their chutes in the docks, and bring them back to base. We collected one of the rats, but we were cut off by time from getting the second.

In the project, a new, cofee-can sized home version of the factory purifier was presented, and accepted: the PureFlour 2000. Work was started on the presentation itself; an infomercial for the PureFlour, with several team members making testimonies as to what it does and how good it is.

Next meeting: more missions, and a draft presentation!

Meeting 6

Sorry for being late with this post-almost a whole month late! Also, due to the split teams, this blog now only covers the activites of the veteran team, Lego Lightning Black.

At this meeting, the robot was not worked on, so all we did was the project. We decided to do our project on getting rid of weevil eggs in flour, the real threat to infestations. We found that UV light kills the weevils and their eggs, and also causes them to puff up. An idea was put forward to radiate and strain the flour on large scale at the factory, which was talked upon. Next week, the robot comes back into action!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Project Liftoff

Today was the fifth meeting of Lego Lightning. We picked our project topics and the robots began to take shape. Lego Lightning Black chose the contamination of bread through flour as their topic, and Lego Lightning Blue chose chicken. As the meeting was not held in the usual space, the mission board was not entirely available, but the mission models were available for attathcment sizing.

Black took apart the shooterbot base and began a new base (It looks sort of like the Lego Batman Tumbler truck), and Blue worked more on their robot. Homework is to research further into the problems we picked.

Congratulations to Black coach on the new addition to the cheering squad!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yesterday was the season kickoff for Lego Lightning. The whole team was there to learn what the missions are for the robot game, and what the research topic is. For the research project, we have to pick a food, find a possible contamination risk, and come up with an innovative and original solution that detects/prevents the contamination. Some of the names of the missions are: Pollution Reversal, Corn Harvest, Fishing, Pest Removal, Refrigerated Transport, and Hand Washing. We began building our robots as well; Team 1 using a stripped-down Shooterbot as their base platform, and Team 2 starting from scratch.

Homework for this week is to research the orgins of a food and possibly identify some contamination problems. Next week: Building robots, picking a food, and identifying a problem.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meeting 3 - Field Trip

Last Wednesday was the third meeting of Lego Lightning. We had four new faces this week, so they were introduced to the robot basics while the rest of the team finished the Mission Models from last week. Then we voted on a logo. After that, we piled into our cars and went on a field trip to the local Chick-fil-a. There we learned some of the things restaurants do to keep their food safe while being prepared, like washing your hands before and after touching food, and what they used for disinfecting surfaces (Hydrochloric acid). They also had color-coded knives, scissors, and gloves; yellow for raw food, white for cooked.

We also learned about the "danger zone", or the range of temperatures that bacteria can grow in. If the food is supposed to be cold, like for salads or preparing meats, then it has to stay below 40 degrees Celsius; and if it is hot, then it has to stay over 140 degrees Celsius. Any temperature in between, and bacteria can grow. Don't know what we are going to do next meeting, though!

Also, Happy Birthday to Connor, who turned 11 on meeting day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bricks and Basics

Last Wednesday was the second meeting of Lego Lightning. We had a few new team members this time, so we started with a go-around of names and ages, and we wore name tags so everyone could see who we were. We played the problem-solving game again, and arranged ourselves by name, and then age.(I was at the end both times, my name beginning with B and being the oldest, 14) After the snack, we were split into four groups. Two of the groups learned the basics of programming the robot, while the other two began building the mission models, and after a while we switched out.

We did'nt get all the models put together, so the rest was saved for next week. We did get built a table, a kitchen sink, a corn harvester, a vegetable truck, a refrigerated trailer, fish, a cow, a pig, bacteria, and viruses. Unfourtunately, we won't know what we have to do with them until September 7th. Also, some of the team members hadn't designed a logo yet, so the due date for that has been switched to next week.
Next week: More mission models, and a logo!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meeting 1 - Icebreaker

Yesterday was the first meeting of the team. We all were greeted by the coaches, who told the newcomers about First Lego League, and then we played a couple games to learn each other's names and interests. In the first game, we tossed a ball around with the sender asking a question about the receiver, and the receiver answering.

After that, we played a problem-solving game. One teammate was chosen to be the questioner, and the rest  of the team was given the name of a well-known person/cartoon character. The questioner then had to guess who the person was by using yes/no questions.

Next, we showed a brief overview of basics of the robot game, last year's board, the robot kit and the programming environment. Then we voted on the team name: LEGO LIGHTNING! the runner-up was the CookieBots. The homework is designing a logo to go on the shirts, banners, and maybe buttons. Next meeting on Wednesday!

Got a sneak peek at the mission model kit for this year; it included lego carrots, croissants, bananas, and a loaf of french bread. Building next week!

~Ben Dunphy, senior team member and blogger


Welcome to the ARCH FLL teams' first year....first blog....first post!

We had such an amazing amount of interest through our homeschool group that we now have 2 FLL teams and 1 JFLL team to start our first year!

The children are very excited; the parents are still wondering what the heck they've gotten themselves into!  :  ) 

Anyway, we wanted to welcome you to our blog, and ask you to check back weekly or so to keep updated on what all we're doing.  Most of the blog writing and design will be done by the children, with the occasional comment or link thrown in from a coach or two.  Look around, and visit often! 

ARCH FLL Team -  Lego Lightning!