LEGO Inspiration: 75254 AT-ST Raider from The Mandalorian

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian set number 75254 AT-ST Raider.

This set has many cool features, including the fact that it is a blend of both LEGO bricks and Technic beams. We are so exited to show some of the AT-ST’s neatest and most creative properties.

This is the way.

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Gears: Gear Trains

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In a past article here, we discussed many of the different gears that LEGO has available for use. In today’s article, we will talk about different ways to maximize your gear train. Gear trains can serve different purposes. One is to simply allow rotation movement at a location away from your motor itself. Another purpose for gear trains is to “gear up” to increase rotational speed or to “gear down” to increase torque. Depending on what the gear train needs to accomplish, you need to find and place the appropriate gears! Keep reading to see how!

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Core Values Teamwork Challenges

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COVID-19 has changed lives all over the world in many ways. We are very grateful that FIRST LEGO League will be able to continue this year. Obviously, though, the season this year is going to look very different for all teams.

One aspect of FIRST LEGO League that has always been fun is doing core values challenges within our teams. Core values challenges are great ways to build teamwork skills and grow closer as a team. However, social distancing makes it hard to participate in many of the standard ones. In this article, we will share with you 3 core values challenges that we came up with for our own team that can be completed virtually (such as over Zoom, Facetime, etc.) or in-person (with masks and social distancing of course!).

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LEGO Inspiration: Duplo Motorized Train

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in the current LEGO DUPLO train sets.

Even though these LEGO DUPLO sets are “geared” (haha) more for ages 2-5, these trains have features that help the next generation to learn about robotics. We really like that sets like these help kids (that might not even be old enough yet for FIRST LEGO League) to consider different ways to use “blocks” to tell a robot what to do, as well as learn about sensors. Maybe these sets will get all kids, girls and boys, interested in robotics!

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Have Fun With Your EV3 and Power Functions

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While we were creating our project prototype out of LEGOs, we found awesome aftermarket equipment from a company called Mindsensors that allows an EV3 to be able to talk to a Power Functions IR Receiver, enabling an EV3 to control LEGO Power Functions! Power Functions is a sub-section of LEGO that is mostly used in older motorized LEGO Technic sets, LEGO train sets, and the original WeDo. LEGO Power Functions included motors of different sizes, as well as lights. The Mindsensors’ PFMate controller can hook up to an EV3 with just a regular EV3 wire! Mindsensors also has a downloadable EV3 block already available! These Mindsensors after-market components are not made by LEGO, though, so they cannot be used as part of the FIRST LEGO League robot game (actually, even the Power Functions elements are excluded from the robot game). However, they might help you with developing a project prototype (how we discovered them) or you may just want to use them for fun with your EV3! In this article, we will show you how this interesting after-market component is used.

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LEGO Inspiration: 41194 Noctura’s Tower & the Earth Fox Rescue

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in LEGO Elves set number 41194 Noctura’s Tower & the Earth Fox Rescue.

This is one of the medium-sized LEGO Elves sets, but even though it’s “geared” (haha) more for girls it has a lot of important things to consider using in your FLL attachments or robot. We really like that sets like these help kids (that might not even be old enough yet for FLL) to consider different ways to have gears, chains, rotating beams, and other moving parts bring function to their play sets. Maybe these sets will get all kids, girls and boys, interested in robotics!

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#FIRSTLikeAGirl Women in STEM Build Event

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Some of our team had the awesome opportunity to attend the Houston area #FIRSTLikeAGirl Women in STEM Build Event at Space Center Houston today. We had some great talks about what it means to be allies for each other in STEM. We also had fun helping to encourage all the rookie FIRST girls as they start their own great robotics journeys with their teams. It was also great to be inspired by FIRST teams older than us, as well as females in engineering.

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