Halls Of Learning

LYM Jrs. - Trip to Boston, Part 1

After a late night flight, we were all well tired by the time we reached our hotel, the Royal Sonesta, in Cambridge.

After we got settled, we headed out to the Museum of Science, a short (chilly!) walk away.  We ate lunch in the café overlooking the Charles River, and then saw the Lightning! show, an IMAX movie (Thrill Ride), and wandered through the exhibits.

The next morning, we headed out to iRobot, in Bedford, MA.

It was a great visit.  Laura Packer gave us a fascinating look at the different types of robots made by iRobot, and we learned about a lot of the design inspirations, like bugs!

We even got to see demonstrations of how iRobot's bomb defusing robot, the PackBot, worked, and could even climb stairs!

After lunch, we headed to the MIT Media Lab, where we saw some of the coolest research and thinking about technology and robotics.  We ate pizza, and met with Chris Csikszentmihályi from the Center for Future Civic Media, who showed us lots of cool projects that he and his group had been involved with.

Then we went to the High-Low Tech lab, where Ed Baafi showed us around, and led us through a project where we created a circuit using conductive paint!

Next we visited the Personal Robots group, and got to see some cutting-edge robots that can interact with humans in a remarkable and expressive way!

Believe it or not, we weren't done yet!  We ended our trip to the MIT Media Lab with a visit to the Lifelong Kindergarten group, headed by Mitchel Resnick.  We got to work with Scratch - a software program that creates animation, and see the place where LEGO Mindstorms was born.

And our day wasn't even over yet! We headed out to Worcester for a practice session at the tournament location - more on that in Part 2!


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