Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute

The Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute (RTI) is pleased to announce that its LEGO 24-Hour City is now an official Science and Engineering NASA Site of Remote Sensing (SENSORS).
      SENSORS is a NASA Leading Educators to Applications, Research, and NASA-related Educational Resources in Science Cooperative Agreement Notice. The purpose is to enhance K-12 science, math, technology, and geography education through Internet-based products derived from NASA mission content. With the use of telerobotics and LEGO RCX robots, students can explore and discover different environments.
      The Appalachian Transportation Institute is located at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. One of the goals of the RTI is to provide quality transportation-related programs to elementary, middle, and high school students, with the express purpose of attracting students to careers in transportation fields. Each year, a variety of workshops are sponsored which enable students to explore the technologies and issues related to transportation in the United States.
      The LEGO 24-Hour City at RTI is built around the LEGO Dacta RCX intelligent programmable brick. Using LEGO Dacta’s ROBOLAB software, students at RTI are able to program each of the city’s vehicles and traffic control elements. Previously, using Red Rover software, students at other sites could remotely activate the motors and lights on the City’s LEGO models and run set up programs. Now, using the Internet, students from anywhere can also program the City’s elements themselves and remotely receive information and data from the City. Linda Hamilton, mathematics instructor at Marshall University, working with Chris Rogers of Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, has designed the LEGO 24-Hour City at RTI to be operational for remote sensing. Many schools have remotely operated the City’s monorail, gates, traffic counters, and vehicles.
Programs like the LEGO 24-Hour City at RTI use hands-on, real-life activities that build interest in engineering, robotics, and remote sensing among young people. This interest will stay with the students throughout their education, and lead them to careers in transportation and traffic fields. A SENSORS LEGO Robotics Workshop was held at Tuft’s University on June 6-8, 2001.  Marshall University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Glenn, NASA Goddard and NASA Ames representatives planned their SENSORS site and programmed  LEGO robotics at the Tufts University SENSORS workshop.


LEGO Links of Linda Hamilton hamilton@marshall.edu