NASA TETRIX Projects

Day 1: Tuesday, 7/5

by on Jul.05, 2011, under Week 1

Today was our first day.  We started with a short name game with the questions, “What is your name?”, “Where are you from and what grade are you in?”, and “What is your favorite tech product?”  The general conclusion under favorite tech product was the mp3 player, with a shoutout to Morgan’s “impact driver”.  By the third day that product will definitely change to “air conditioning”.  After that, we did a campus tour in the oppressive heat, looking at most of the major buildings, including the Engineering building, Anderson, and a few places to eat.  Location-wise, we started in the basement of Brown and Brew, at the CEEO (Center for Engineering Education and Outreach), and moved to the Botlab when we started our team building exersice.  The exercise originally had five parts, but we shortened it to three.  First we had “team LEGO,” in which we built the largest possible tower with just 39 pieces in 30 minutes (the amount of pieces determined with dice).  Each tower was at least two feet tall and stayed upright for at least 30 seconds.  Then we had “solo LEGO,” which was the same thing except by ourselves; the success rate dropped significantly: only 1 out of 5 towers stayed up for the 30 seconds (and that tower had snapped in half).  It was this exercise really where it was determined that working in teams is better than alone: you can divide the work, you have double the brainpower, and there’s enough to do that you don’t always get in the way of each other.   The third part was “team TETRIX”, where we started to build the longest possible bridge that could still support two battery packs. -Nicolas

Daily Thoughts:

Dean: Already visited Tufts, already knew campus.  Intro and TETRIX: The screws were annoying, took awhile yo a result.  Mindstorm: Already used it, familiar with it.  Towers: Fun, creative, good way to learn connections with LEGOs.  Bridges: Good way to learn TETRIX kits.

Lawrence: The first day was exciting because I’ve never worked with TETRIX before or any type of robotics. I had loads of fun with the tallest tower project because I made mine so tall but it didn’t necessarily stand up. Then the bridge project was very amusing as well but wasn’t very successful as well. Hahahaha

Jess: The first day was rather awkward, considering the ubiquitous silence between all of us, with the exception of Nick. We started cracking open the new TETRIX kits in groups of three (from that instant they were never so neat again), and they didn’t seem so frustrating or complicated to work with in that instant. The team building exercises hardly brought further conversation out among us, but solving quick challenges using limited materials was pretty fun and interesting.

Briyana: My thinking on building a bridge was simply just making a strong, long and sturdy enough bridge so it wouldn’t tip over.

Sarah:  It was really hot outside.


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