Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Robot Designs, Community Outreach and Lunar Surface Gloom

Hey everyone!
First of all, thank you for following out blog and supporting the Molokai Mahina MoonBots Team! This is Michael Kikukawa, reporting in for my first Blog of the Summer! MoonBots has been moving along very quickly on Molokai, I'm happy we've all been able to keep up so far! Right now the three main focuses of our attention in the MoonBots challenge are: building our MoonBots Challenge lunar surface out of LEGO pieces, designing and building our AWESOME robot, and completing our community outreach project.
Building our MoonBots lunar surface is turning out to be harder than we expected. This is mainly because not all of the pieces necessary to complete the challenge board were sent in the mail (so we're missing some pieces!) and, secondly, because if we do not follow the instructions for constructing the board to the letter, we end up missing more pieces than we were in the beginning! We are overcoming this obstacle by "borrowing" or substituting LEGO pieces from other kits and home and for the ones that are missing and paying extra attention to the way we build the components of the board.
Unlike the board, designing our robot has been just as hard as we thought it would be. The main challenge is simply climbing over the crater walls but we think we've had a break through in this area so we should be able to climb the crater walls at our next practice! (SO EXCITED!) I don't want to jinx our robot (and I don't want to release any classified information, everything I write is already going to be censored by our CENSORED Team Captain) so I'm not going to tell you how we did this just yet. Our next challenge will be figuring out how to collect the Water Ice once we have entered the craters, but we think we'll be able to use some techniques we've used in the past to complete that aspect of the mission.
The final focus of our attention is on our community outreach project. We are going to submit a collage/article to our local newspaper on how STEM is used and substantial in everyday life on our island, but a new component we will be adding is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) on the same topic that we hope to have air on our island-wide television station. These two fronts, combined with our large following on Facebook should help us reach thousands of people around Hawaii and inform them about our project and the importance of STEM.
So, despite the difficulties, we've been working hard and hope to accomplish a lot before school begins in a week (to soon!).
A Hui Hou (until we meet again!),
Michael K.

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