City Shaper Release and Upcoming Video

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We are really excited for the 2019-2020 season in FIRST LEGO League! The theme this year is City Shaper! FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is such a great program for kids ages 9-14 years old (age restrictions are different in other parts of the world, so check for your region). Get involved if you can as a team member or coach! Even if you do not have time to be fully involved, you can still volunteer or attend the many tournaments across the world!!!

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LEGO Inspiration: 42057 Ultralight Helicopter

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in LEGO Technic set number 42057 Ultralight Helicopter.

Our squishy mango friend insisted on taking the wheel for our opening picture! This article covers only one of the two models that can be built with this set. This is one of the smaller LEGO Technic sets, but perhaps the neatest thing about it is the fact that it is so compact and simplistic but capable of doing so much. There are great examples of transverse gearing, gear trains, and pivot points controlling steering!

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LEGO Fidget Spinners

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Today we are going to talk about having fun with your Technic and EV3 pieces. For our FLL team, part of sitting around and building robots and attachments involves build “doodling.” We are not doodling on paper. We are “doodling” with the LEGO pieces themselves! We are building little structures as we mess with the pieces, learning how they work and coming up with new ideas. One of our recent ideas was to make LEGO Technic fidget spinners!

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LEGO Inspiration: 42069 Extreme Adventure

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in LEGO Technic set number 42069 Extreme Adventure.

This is one of the larger LEGO Technic sets, but with its size comes lots of cool gearing and features. We have found many neat and inspiring things about this set. We named ours “Purple Snow” because of its color and because it was shown on the box with a snow background. We sometimes have our pom-pom owls that we made drive in it because they are the perfect size. We have had lots of fun with this set!

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LEGO Inspiration: 42060 Roadwork Crew, Part 1

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In LEGO Inspiration today, we will show you what we found interesting in LEGO Technic set number 42060 Roadwork Crew. This is one of the smaller Technic sets available, but it has some great functionality that we can carry over into EV3 robot building.

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LEGO Technic set number 42060 Roadwork Crew has 2 models included, so we decided to split this into 2 articles to make it easier. Today we will be talking about the tracked digger.

This tracked digger part of LEGO Technic set number 42060 Roadwork Crew that we will talk about today, we named Scoop. She is a very close friend with Mr. Cherry Picker that we discussed the 42031 Cherry Picker article. Although different pieces are used, there are a lot of similarities in how they work.

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Remember to Have Fun with Your EV3!

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One of the FLL core values is about having fun and enjoying what we do. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in using LEGO EV3 for FIRST LEGO League, to learn about simple and complex machines, or for other schoolwork. FIRST encourages us to have fun while we do our work. But, it is good to remember to make sure you take some time to have a break and to just have fun, too! When you have time, you should make up your own missions and challenges! By making your own challenges you can learn, have fun, and take a break from all the stressing work of robotics.

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Crabs, Couches, and Armchairs: Building Pieces for Extra Support

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When you are building with LEGO Technic, sometimes you need extra supporting pieces on beams to keep your model from falling apart when you handle it. This is especially important for LEGO robots used for competition. We thought up some ways over the past three years to help with this problem. We will share some of those in this blog post.

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The Extra Beam!

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LEGO is pretty generous. In all of their sets, they have some extra pieces that are left over after following building instructions, but LEGO only gives you very small extra pieces, like studs, connectors, half bushes, etc. LEGO almost never gives you large extra pieces. If you have a large piece left over after building a set, check through the instructions again to see if you missed putting that piece in the model as part of the steps. In recent LEGO sets, each step has an inventory listed for the step. To avoid leaving pieces out while we build, we like to find the pieces for each step and make sure we use them all before moving on. When we have a large piece like a full brick or beam left over, we scan the inventory listed for each step to look for the type/color of piece we have left over. Usually, we find the step we overlooked that piece. It has happened to us many times in different LEGO sets we build.

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