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WackyCapNTrish: Three Things LEGO - FLL, New Store, Free EV3 Download

If you love LEGO... Read Me!

Playbrick
Playbrick
WackyCapNTrish are planning a trip from San Francisco to Long Beach.  We call it the Finding and Making Things Game (The F.A.M.T.G.). We're going to be busy finding folks who make things... We'll call them Makers... and making things of our own to show.  You can help us to do this by voting for us daily!

Thing 1: FIRST LEGO League Teams Take On Nature's Fury

WackyTrish was pleased to be able to accompany Shared Science FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams on their tour of the Long Beach Emergency Operations Center.

FLL teams everywhere are touring, interviewing and researching the challenges that Nature presents to us.  With challenge topic Nature's Fury, the teams are tasked to learn about the challenges and to identify a problem that can be addressed.  Then they need to vision a solution to that problem and present that solution to the judges at a FLL competition.

You might be wondering what this all has to do with LEGO bricks.  Well, the project described above is one of three components of the competition.  Each team purchases a field kit of LEGO parts, building instructions and a play mat.  The challenge is laid out online with the robots working to score points for picking things up, pushing things, identifying and retrieving or delivering things. The stuff of robots.

The third component is the very important Core Values project, where the team demonstrates how well they have learned to work with each other and with other teams.

To learn more about the US competition visit http://www.usfirst.org/ and click on FLL in the top menu.

Thing 2: New LEGO Store in Canoga Park, CA

When I was in the Bay Area for the San Mateo Makerfaire this May, I made sure to visit the LEGO store in the Hillsdale Shopping Center.  You might ask why a LEGO nut who lives in Long Beach... driving distance from several (five) LEGO stores AND LEGOLAND might want to visit the Hillsdale LEGO store...  I'll tell you my secret.

It's the Pick a Brick wall.

If you go to the back of any LEGO store, there is a tall wall of loose bricks to be purchased.  Grab a small or large cup and stuff as much LEGO as you can into it.  The manic LEGO fans will spend hours packing their LEGO cups.  It's a challenge... See how much LEGO you can get into the cup.  I've even done a video on this topic.  The secret is that the various stores might have different bricks, and some will have some very cool bricks.  I could give you more tips on how to stuff as much as you can into your cup of LEGO, but perhaps another day.

Here are some bricks that I have found on the Pick A Brick wall: Large turntables (not the teeny ones, the big ones that come in the Mindstorms kit); Treasure chests; barrels; LEGO diamonds; LEGO ice bricks (2x2 translucent sloped bricks); purple 1x2 tiles; pink bricks.  You get the picture.

The new Canoga Park store opens this September with a giant Yoda build directed by a LEGO Master Builder and Yoda themed giveaways if you were lucky enough to get a postcard from the store.
Schedule:
Fri Sept 27 11am - 7pm
Sat Sept 28 10am - 6pm
Sun Sept 29 12pm - 6pm

Thing 3: Free LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software Download and EV3 Helps

For those of you who want to upgrade to the Mindstorms EV3 but aren't yet sure, you can try out the backward compatible software by downloading fom this site:  http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/software/ddsoftwaredownload/

There's lots of Q&A info about the EV3 at this location http://www.lego.com/es-ar/mindstorms/support/faq/. It's worth a read if you've got a Mindstorms kit of any variety.

And from the LEGO Education site:
http://www.legoeducation.us/eng/misc/comparingEV3andNXT.cfm#loc=existingUser_w2_jan2013

One of the cool new features (apart from the new Gyro sensor,
more accurate sensors, an enhanced color sensor and new type of servo) is the EV3 Robot Commander application which will permit bluetooth communication with the EV3 from either an iOS or Android device.

Thanks to Shared Science coach Terry Wells for providing the information for the free EV3 software download, and to coach Jacqui Viale for organizing the very cool tour!

I'm so excited about my trip to the Bay Area! Please Vote for me!

About the Author
Trish Tsoiasue is a Patch Blogger from Long Beach, CA.  She is planning a trip to the Bay Area, so that she can find people who make things and places that they make things to feature on a Patch blog near her or near you, on her Squigglemom YouTube channel and on her reality show that she is getting ready to launch with Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.)
on new channel WackyCapNTrish. Subscribe now to see our first show when it's ready!

She is figuring out how to increase her internet reach so that she can get folks to like their Facebook page: WackyCapNTrish. Please like us and tell us if you want us to visit you on our trip!







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