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Mayan Adventure 2009

In July 2009, we were starting a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team.   All the kids had experience building and programming with LEGO NXT, but the FTC team was going to be using Tetrix parts and Robot C.   What they needed was time and reasons to build lots of robots in a short amount of time.  Everyone had fun at our first Mayan Adventure week, so it seemed like the right time to have another Mayan Adventure Camp week!

Continue reading "Mayan Adventure 2009"





Mayan Adventure 2009

Once again, Jim Kelly's book is a wonderful resource.  The kids love the story and he came up with some interesting challenges for the robots.  

We used a lot of the same resources as the first time we held the Mayan Adventure camp.  There are links to books, and websites that we found helpful and used again.

The first step was to think through each of the challenges.  What types of skills did we want to have the FTC team learn during the week?  Would the challenges encourage them to learn those skills.  Also we had two teams of kids who would be on FIRST LEGO League teams in the fall.  What should they be learning?

As much as I love the story, I really thought the kids needed more experience manipulating objects.   How to go into a space, find an object, then figure out how to move it to a new location.  After a lot of thinking, we decided to change day 2 from having the robot go across the string to drop pebbles in a vase, to having the robot go into the room, find a collection of balls, choose the right combination of balls to move to a container on the other side of the room.

Once we had decided on the challenges, then we started the detailed planning for each day.  How would the temple room be arranged? What items would we need for that day?  Did we have to make any story changes?  What would we award points for at each challenge?  

Of course, a few things changed along the way.  The kids got more creative than we had expected.  Some of the challenges were harder than we had realized.  But they had a great time, and they all learned a lot about building and programming robots.

Planning and Day 1 for  Mayan Adventure 2009.

Day 2 Crystals -  Find and move the right crystal balls 

Day 3  Library  -  Results from day 2 and the start of the Library Challenge

Day 4 Scroll  - Results from the Library and retrieving a scroll.

Day 5  Tomb  - Final day in the tomb.


The kids realized it was a great week.  The FTC team decided to host a Mayan Adventure Robotics Camp and open it up to kids in the community.  It would be a great fundraiser for their team, and they'd get to help more kids learn about building robots.

Now we just have to wait and see what Jim Kelly comes up with in his new book, The King's Treasure which will be published this fall.



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