Saturday, February 13, 2010

Next Meeting: February 19, 2010

I've been very busy since the last meeting, and haven't had a chance to post the last meeting's minutes yet, so here's a combined post....

Our next meeting will be held at 7:00pm on February 19, 2010, at HobbyTown. Topics to discuss will include a report on a big pile of recently donated supplies and equipment, which I hope to be able to bring to the meeting for some hands-on inventory and testing. I've also picked up some screwdrivers and such for the workbench, so we can do a little junk salvaging during meetings from now on.

At our previous meeting, my son helped me demonstrate two "kid's programming languages": Scratch and Alice. Each of these serves as a friendly-for-any-age introduction to modern object-oriented, event-driven, multi-threaded programming, and can be used to create simple demos and games, talk to other networked computers, talk to an Arduino, and much more. We compared those two languages to Lego Mindstorms NXT-G, Java, Arduino, C++, and others.

We also discussed upcoming robot-related public events, and one reason why I've been so busy lately: my son's FIRST Lego League robotics team won their local qualifying tournament, and have been meeting often to prepare for the big regional tournament at the end of this month. I had been planning to have enough free time to prepare for our club to set up a robot-demo and member-sign-up table at the upcoming Rockland Youth Fest, but I can't do it myself this year - next time, with the club better organized, we'll be there.

Upcoming events of interest: