Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things that Inspire Us

Here are a few things that inspire us to keep going when a gear pops out, a tire falls off, or when programming the NXT baffles us.
Learning cool science stuff

We think these would taste just as good on the moon.
The work of ATK, NASA, and space pioneers like the Google Lunar X Prize Teams!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Building the Robot

Noah C., Collin and Devin have been working hard on building the robot and Noah W. and Kaitlyn have taken these wonderful photos. we also received our sensors a while ago.

building the game board

The Moonstormers have have done very well in building the game board. They have worked very hard and have made all of the craters, all the helium-3, all the water-ice, the peak of eternal light and the landing platform.

Preparing for the Robot Fair

The Moonstormers  worked very hard to prepare the Moonstormers robotics fair and set fliers everywhere  they went. Here are some pictures of the Moonstormers getting ready for the the fair.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 20: an historic day

For the Moonstormers, July 20 brought great things this year. Our club and about 50 others from our community celebrated the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with special guests who made that great day in American history happen.
Our first guest from Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK) wowed the group with pictures and video and cool info like how rocket motors move stuff into space at 17,500 mph! ATK is one of the nations largest aerospace and defense contractors and has a couple of offices here in Utah. We were really excited to meet them.

Our next guest was NASA Engineer Ray Sambamuthi. He has worked for NASA for 22 years and has seen a lot. He wore a red jacket that had flight patches all over it from each of the shuttle missions and projects he had worked on. He told us exciting stories about what it is like to be an engineer.
We also wanted to share what we've learned about robotics and the moon. We all built robots and showed the kids a few things they could do with them. We also made two displays. One that showed kids the difference in weight on the earth and on the moon. The other talked about the moon's natural resources. The Moon Pie Coloring sheet was very fun for the little kids.
Noah W. and Kaitlyn are putting together a summary of that day to display on our blog. So keep an eye open for that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Moonstormers Phase Two Assignments

Today we started working on Phase Two. Noah C. and Kaitlyn are working on programming. Collin and Devin are building, and modifying our current robot. Noah W.  is writing about what everyone is doing, and is in charge of the blog.
We're also working on a flier for our STEM Project, "Robots in Space"

STEM Project "Robots in Space"

We are preparing for our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) service project. We are really looking forward to it. We call it "Robots in Space".

Wed. July 20 10am-12pm at Thanksgiving Gardens Classroom in Lehi, UT. The Moonstormers will be presenting cool stuff. And we have asked several really great and interesting engineers to come and talk to us there. More details TBA.

Everyone is invited!

Moonstormers: Moonbots Challenge Finalist!!!!

We are happy to say to everyone that we are included in Phase Two of the Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge!!!!
Our team members specializing in NXT programming  have the following message:

repeat if x:=< infinity
say, "HOORAY"
x:= x+1
end repeat

We received our media kit today. Thank you to Google, Lego and their sponsors.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Officially Registered

It's official! You can find the Moonstormers now at the Moonbots Team Page. Collin has some really great improvements planned for our robot arm should we be included in phase 2 of the competition. Noah W. finished the robot design proposal yesterday. Now Kaitlyn is finishing up on the video essay.  This week has really been a challenge with two of our team members at scout camp for the entire week. We'll let them review what we've done on Friday and finish up and submit our proposal on Saturday. Wish us well everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moon rocks and Martians at the Clark Planetarium

This afternoon the Moonstormers engineering minds were drawn to the simple machine savvy of  Newton's Daydream ball mover. They saw the difference in wattage between an incandescent lightbulb and LED technology. And they had a great time being space cadets on the lunar and Martian landscapes. It was a really fun way to collect footage for the video essay. Now we all can't wait to watch it. Special thanks to Mrs. Moore for coming with us on this trip!
We'll meet at 1:00 again tomorrow to finish up the robot and work on some final video stuff.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Video Essay on the Way

We had a good time today imagining what it would be like to try to terraform the moon without the help of robots.The kids think it would take a lot of blood, sweat and tears; and had a laugh imagining someone losing blood droplets out into space.

Tomorrow we'll wrap up the week with some time spent on individual assignments. Devin, Collin and Noah C. will wrap up testing for the drivetrain and move on to another section of their choice. Noah W., Kaitlyn and I will be completing the script and white board planning for the video essay. We may even get to record some audio.

We're looking forward to taking a field trip next Monday afternoon to the Clark Planetarium to take some interesting video. Please check your schedules everyone and decide if that's a good day, time for you and your families.
As of yesterday, the 2011 Moonbots Challenge has been extended to June 26. The Moonstormers are enthusiastic about this news because it provides more time for testing our robot design. We are seeing                some progress with our robot arm, drivetrain and chassis.

We're all going to take some time to study the links at the top of this blog so we can do the video essay. Additionally, we're working on our individual assignments. What a busy summer!

See you all Thurs. 1:00!

LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) used to detect if the Hydrogen on the moon is in the form of water.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That's a Really Good Question...

Today the Moonstormers achieved "lift off" and some extensive experiments with the Earth's gravity. Collin's the tallest of the group. He dared everyone to try and bounce him. But he didn't count on everyone bouncing together... Guess that's what teamwork does for this group.

We watched videos of other robots navigating a lunar landscape, then explored some really cool suspension ideas of our own on Lego Digital Designer.

We also studied past and present methods of Moon exploration with Google Earth.

The Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge asks us, "How can robots influence future space missions, including missions to the moon?" First, with today's video and sensing technology, we think robots can be our eyes, ears and hands in an environment that's still hostile to us. This means we can be courageous in exploring space with little loss of human life. Second, we can send robots to the moon and other places to prepare the environment for plant and eventually human life. This process is known as terraforming.

A few ideas of what jobs we might want our robot to do for us on the moon are:
Mining, storing and purifying lunar water sheets and particles recently discovered in the moons coldest areas such as the lunar north pole and Shackleton crater.
Surveying the nutrients of lunar soil with swarms of very small "soil bug" robots.
Cultivating the lunar soil to nourish plant life.
Converting CO2 in the lunar atmosphere into O2.

Tonight the team will be thinking about which area of terraforming they'd like to explore further. They are also going to research what is currently known about lunar water-ice, and lunar soil. From there we can decide what our robot should do.
Today was a lot of fun! Tomorrow we'll experiment with the weight of water...he he he. Be sure to wear clothes you can get wet in. Have lunch at home then meet at 12:30 pm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Moonstormers Team Inaugural Mission

We met today to begin our study of robots and the moon! We are stoked to submit our entry for the Google Lunar X Prize Moonbots Challenge! Our talents and strengths are diverse, but we have a great time together.