Blue Hill, Maine: On July 31st, 2016, Dr. Seymour Papert passed away at his home, at the age of 88. I had the opportunity to know Seymour from 2000 and we co-chaired the Learners, Laptops, and Powerful Ideas conference in 2001 and 2002. Seymour also visited our camps on a few occasions both before and after his 2006 accident in Vietnam that left him with fewer opportunities to work with youth.
In 1980 Seymour wrote a pivotal book called Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. It seems that for his entire life he was looking for ways to incite children to learn; to think; and to create.
Working with LEGO was a natural connection and while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies Media Lab, he was part of the original group that developed the Programmable Brick in 1996, which lead directly to the LEGO RCX MindStorms programmable brick in 1998. Seymour's influence was so critical in starting this revolution that LEGO named the product line after his book and the concepts behind it.
We joined into the "movement" when I ran the 1st Maine FIRST LEGO League competition in 2000, just two years after the first kits were introduced. That year an amazing 89 Maine students participated, out of the 15,000 United States students. Children were using the LEGO robotics kit to think and create in a whole new way.
Now, 16 years later, the number of children using the LEGO Robotics kit, still named after Seymour's dedication and work, will see over 250,000 children in over 80 countries using the current generation of the MindStorms kit that started out in his lab all those years ago (wait, it was only 18 years ago... is that "all those years ago?").
Our highest FIRST LEGO League trophy in Maine is the Seymour Papert trophy. This trophy goes out to the Maine State Championship winner, which they get to display for one year before it comes back to be earned by a new team. It proudly display's information about Seymour, along with his photo.
Thank you Seymour for getting us started; for caring about the passions and intelligence of our children; for hoping for a future where children learn by creating their world. The world feels your influences every day and will for many years to come. We will miss you.
The Seymour Papert Trophy. Maine's Stanley Cup for FIRST LEGO League teams!
We've got 7 sessions of Minecraft Camp running this summer (ages 10-14) and here is a picture of one of the camps in Falmouth! Go Minecrafters, program away!
Over 600 campers already signed up, be part of our biggest summer ever!
Maine Robotics still has room in a few of our programs. Check out our 2016 Summer Camp page and scroll down to see if there is a camp in your area. We offer programs for children, ages 9 to 16, including LEGO robotics, VEX robotics, Build Your Own Computer Camp, Programming in Minecraft (sorry all are full) and our new 3D Design and Printing camp.
These camps are fun and educational and a great way to spend a week this summer. Call us if you have any questions! It's not too late... yet.
So, for a while now LEGO has offered the new EV3 Programmer App for use on Apple iPhones and iPads, as well as a version for Android Tablets and phones. Unfortunately, it takes a slightly newer version than we've had at the office so we haven't been able to really take a close look at what it can do.
Into the picture comes my new Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (replacing my 5 year old tablet) and I took the time to take a look at it today.
The good... it works and I was able to connect to the EV3 simply and to make a small program and download it to the EV3 and hit run and all.
The bad... lost a lot of features in the process.
What is still there:
Check out LEGOs EV3 Programming page for information on supported devices.
NOTE: It was almost a 400 MB download, so don't try and run it on an older device or one running with insufficient memory. But it worked well on my Tab S2. And of course you need Bluetooth to talk between your device and the EV3.
The good news:
Okay, it won't take any awards for complex programming, BUT it will do about 90% of what we cover in a beginners robotics camp. But if you need to use math blocks or data manipulation, you're going to have to go back to programming on a laptop or desktop computer.
So give it a try and have some fun! Tom
The Maine Robot Track Meet season is in full swing with teams practicing all over the state. And there is still time if you haven't started up a team yet! Dust off those robots and get a copy of the rules and enter one event or all of them!
Hi all, here we are in our 12th year of the Maine Robot Track Meets and we have a couple of updates:
Come join us at the Bangor area SUMMER CAMP FAIR being held at the Bangor Mall on
Date: SATURDAY, MARCH 5th, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: The Bangor Mall, inside the main mall
Bring your family and check out the camps that will be there to tell you about their great summer camp offerings in the greater Bangor area. Don't miss this local, easy to get to, easy to park at, no cost to come and check it out camp fair!
If you are a camp and still want to have a table, call our office at 866-4340 or click the button below and reserve one today!
About Maine Robotics
Maine Robotics is a non-profit dedicated to providing Maine youth and teachers with mentored activities within the STEM fields, focusing primarily on robotics for it's multidisciplinary coverage of science and its ability to provide timely and popular tie ins with today's youth.
Maine Robotics is a member of: