RCSP Mentors the X-Treme Team
The X-Treme team is a California- based team made up of five 5th graders who are competing in the First LEGO League. The team members include Harrison, Parker, Mikie, and Matthew, two-year veterans, and Chase, a rookie. They see the Moonbots Challenge as a way to continue learning about robotics and a really cool way to learn about lunar exploration.
The FIRST LEGO League is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX), which is designed to get children excited about science and technology -- and teach them valuable employment and life skills. FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to ten children with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome.
Two of our RCSP team members are currently mentoring the X-Treme Team. Ricky Jordan is the Lead Mechanical Engineer of the Space Vehicles Department at Dynetics and a CAD designer. He shared with the X-Treme team some of his projects.
Tim Pickens also got a chance to be a mentor and to Skype with the X-Treme Team. The kids asked him various questions about the Moon surface, testing, and why we were going to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Tim reciprocated with similar questions. They asked Tim about Moon lander/bot testing. He mentioned that we were building a low-cost moonscape and they could, too. He just threw out the idea of flour as a dusty candidate. Well, who would have ever thought they would actually go out and make their own Moon landscape area? It was pretty cool with the kids standing in the flour barefoot. They were covered in Moon bread making dust. The team sent us a video of the interview. Check it out: