In the Classroom
BattleBricks is simply Competitive Legos.
Children start at a young age
participating in competitive events. As a competitive engineering
activity, BattleBricks can be a great learning tool. Competitiveness,
teamwork, sportsmanship, engineering, physics, programming, and problem
solving are just a few of the skills children can obtain from
participating in BattleBricks activities. The BattleBricks Team has put
together this information to give teachers ideas on how to apply this type
of activity into the classroom.
Classroom BattleBricks would be part of a
within a sciences class. Depending on the types of activities, this could be used from
junior high all the way through college. 2 to 4 students would team up to
participate in a competition. Teachers would have to introduce students
to some of the basic concepts of Lego Technic design, and if autonomous
competitions were held the teacher would need to introduce the students to
basic RCX programming techniques.
The teacher would need to decide on what
competition to use for
the class. There are many competition types, but we especially like
standard battles, tabletop, and soccer. Soccer is the only competition
out of these three that would be very difficult to do autonomously. For
an autonomous soccer competition, an IR Soccer Ball could be used:
The students would be given a class
period to work
design for their
robot. After the design session, students would be given 3 or more
building sessions to build there competitive robot. If the competition is
autonomous, a class would be designated specifically for programming.
This may require an extra introduction class for programming the RCX.
The teacher would need at least 4
and motors. These can be ordered from the Pitsco LEGO Dacta Store. The teacher
would also need to design and build an arena system of some sort. We have two
arena system designs on our site. If the battle chosen is RC, USB
gamepads would need to be purchased for each team and a computer with a
usb interface would be necessary, along with a usb hub.
Club BattleBricks is designed for
school activities lead by a teacher or an adult. There would be meetings
for students to discuss lego design, work on robots, program robots, and
also compete. The instructor would need to have at least one available
RCX, and could require participating students to supply their own legos
and mindstorm kits so they could work on their robots at home. The
instructor would need an arena system along with the necessary BBRC
components, including USB gamepads.
School BattleBricks would require
schools agreeing on a competition and forming teams to compete in a
tournament. Volunteer students would participate in building robots for
the school, and an event would be held where students compete with their
robots. This could be combined with Club or Classroom BattleBricks.
* One current issue with BattleBricks in the classroom
involves the BBRC
application. We are currently working on upgrading the BBRC application
to work with more than one USB IR Tower. Until this is complete, it may
be difficult to do large arena style battles. Basic Arena Battles and
tabletop battles still should be possible with this setup. An alternative
is to use the Serial IR towers. These are available in RCX 1.5 kits and
below, or could be found at the PLD
Other Lego Activities in education:
First Lego League
CWRU's Autonomous Lego Course