LEGO Christmas Factory 
at Davis Creek Elementary
Dec 2000
LEGO Christmas Factory MM at Davis Creek Elementary is a systems engineering project.
In years past we have done large projects where sub-assemblies have been put together to make a whole systems project.  Again we used LEGO Dacta sets from motorized simple machines to Control Lab including Pneumatics I and II and sets for RCX.   For control we started with battery boxes then went to interface box and RCX.  We used both Control Lab and RoboLab programs with the interface box.  The final programming was on five RCX using RoboLab.
The center piece was a Christmas Tree built on an RCX and programmed in RoboLab to play Jingle Bells and blink lights.
Rather than have the entire class working on projects at the same time, smaller groups worked on their building and programming over a period of two weeks.  For the most part students worked at times that could be fit in when they had class work finished.  On one Saturday the Saturday LEGO kids worked both on Control Lab and RCX on three computers at once.
To test out functionality we set up direct mode on the RCX for each motor.  We had many windows open at the same time and so used the entire desk top as a complex virtual machine.
As the projects were completed, groups worked together to combine the projects.  The goal was to make a model Christmas factory that would move "packages" around for stamping ( wrapping ) and counting and that fit in the box that we use for display. 
As part of their grammar class on adjectives, 5th grade students  wrote up the  description of the functions of the many parts of the path  through the Christmas factory from the crane outside on top to packages come out the other side.

This introduction page expaned in full, Building pictures, RoboLab programs,
More picture         Links at Davis Creek Elementary

December 2000
Sharon Simon and the Davis Creek Elementary 5th grade
Linda Hamilton
LEGO Links of Linda Hamilton