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 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

     Classroom BattleBricks would be part of a lesson plan 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 type of 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: http://www.acroname.com/robotics/parts/R194-ROBO-BALL.html
     The students would be given a class period to work out a 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 Mindstorms kits, with additional Legos 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

     Club BattleBricks is designed for after 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

     School BattleBricks would require multiple 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 Store.

Other Lego Activities in education:
RoboCup Junior
First Lego League
CWRU's Autonomous Lego Course
Mindstorms, RCX, and LEGO are trademarks of the LEGO Group.  BattleBots is a trademark of BattleBots, inc.  This site is in no way affiliated with The Lego Group or BattleBots, inc.