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Meeting: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Dispatches From the Robot Front:
A Real Life Adventure With Lego Mindstorms
and a Bunch of 6th through 8th Graders

Julie Christian
The Child's Primary School

According to
"Developed at MIT, Lego Mindstorms teaches children the fundamentals of computer programming through the construction of robots. The kit is comprised of the hardware, software and support documentation (outstanding!!!). The hardware includes of over 750 lego pieces that include gears, motors and wheels. The software allows you to easily write code (a program) that makes the robot do a certain task. Once the code is written and tested, one click of a button sends it through the infrared transmitter (wireless!) and into the robot. When the robot has received the code simply put it on the ground and watch it go."

There is an annual competition at LegoLand in Carlsbad of teams that build these robots and program them to complete in a set of prearranged tasks on a playing field. Julie Christian, a teacher at The Child's Primary School in the Clairemont area of San Diego, found out about this event last fall and decided to enter a group of students from her school. Her team began work in mid-October, and -- despite losing their programmer 2 days before -- entered the contest on December 2, 2000. The 6th through 8th graders came in 6th out of a field of 30 teams, were the highest scoring rookie team, and won the coveted "Against All Odds" award.

Julie is giving San Diego SIGGRAPH an insider's look at this whole process, including video of the competition and a hands-on look at the Mindstorms technology.

This is a kid-friendly event. Please note the early start time and shortened program.


6:00 - 6:30 PM Social "Hour"
6:30 - 7:30 Meeting


Members & Non-members no charge for this event

Address, directions and maps:

Mira Mesa Branch,
San Diego Public Library
Large Meeting Room
8405 New Salem St., San Diego, CA 92126-2398
(858) 538-8165

From Qualcomm Stadium, go North on I-15 to Mira Mesa Blvd., turn Left (West) and go halfway to I-805, turning Right (North) on New Salem St., which curves around to the West, and the library is on the Left.


Click on the image for interactive maps.

Updated 04/09/00 

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