Saturday, Jan. 3rd was an exciting day for robot lovers around the world, the FIRST* Robotics competition kicked off with about 75,000 students in grades 9-12 from schools around the world participating in the program.
Every year the game changes, teams have to build an entirely new robot. This year’s game is called Recycle Rush. Teams have to build robots that can pick up and stack totes and recyclables containers, then place trash in those containers. Sounds like a fantastic theme to me!
FIRST began in 1992. Their mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
FIRST has a few other programs including Junior FIRST Lego League (Grades K-3), FIRST Lego League (Grades 4-8), FIRST Tech Challenge (Grades 7-12).
Back in my homeland of Canada we celebrate ‘Boxing Day.’
It's origins date back to the 17th century when it was about giving to those in need, but today it is just an excuse to go shopping. In case you are all shopped out, I bring you a list of creative things to do with leftover holiday boxes.
1. Build your own games
Bored of playing the same two board games in your closet? Design your own games! This is a super fun family activity to do. You can make mini golf, pinball and so much more.
2. Cosplay as a robot
If you have never cosplayed as a robot, now is the time to do it. Find a super giant box that will fit over your entire body or one box for your head and one for your body. Be sure to cut out eye holes so you can see and you’re all set. You can really get into it.
3. Mount a moose head
Did I mention that I’m Canadian? Well, then of course I have to share a project with a moose.
Manually flying space heroes with bicep power can get really tiring (my 6 year old tells me this all the time), so how about adding some motors to a cardboard spaceship and letting a battery power them across planet casa? We flew NASA Barbie and Niles from One Direction across my house. I don’t know why I didn’t think to add a second line and turn it into a race </hint>.
6. Win the cardboard challenge
Start prepping for next year's Cardboard Challenge. Participants around the world make everything from arcades to houses to masks to fantastical creatures. Start prototyping with your leftover holiday boxes and prepare to wow them.
Feeling tired after the holidays? Make a chair, put your feet up, and relax for a little bit.
I’ll admit it, I paid $20 for a pre-made Steve head. Don’t be like me, make your own because Minecraft is about crafting and not consuming.
10. Get designy and make a desk lamp
I especially like how this DIY'er talks about making her gluing experiences more pleasurable. I am so with her. Glue is almost as bad to deal with as glitter.
11. Tidily store your electronics
A storage container for electronics made of, yep, you guessed it, cardboard. I’m pretty excited about this one because Luz and I have been trying to think about how the boxes that we send the kits in can be integrated into the projects.
Truth be told, one of my favorite past times is to watch one of the most famous cats on the internet, Maru, dive in and out of boxes.
I would love to hear how you are upcycling your boxes this year. Please comment below!
Luz and I are thrilled to have launched KitHub. It’s been one month since we bumped into each other at President Obama’s Town Hall on Oct. 9th and decided to make the leap and start this company together. Here we are just one month later offering you something near and dear to our hearts – hands-on learning for kids. Now you can give your mini-me the opportunity to learn new skills from the comfort of your kitchen table or gift it to your favorite 4 foot tall explorer. All of our kits include activities that have been tested by hundreds of kids and adults. We know first-hand that they will teach skills in science or technology.
As we are just getting started with this venture, we are offering either a monthly subscription for $19.95 or you can buy the December kit for $29.95. We are shipping all orders by December 19th and our cutoff date for our first kit is Dec. 15th. And because it’s our very first one, it’s going to include some bonus goodies that you won’t want to miss out on.
A note to our educator friends: in future we’ll be offering more options for you to buy in bulk for workshops and classrooms.
Stay tuned for hints on January’s OoohAhhh Kit and let us know if you have any questions by commenting below or emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.