The Bowmar Builders are an FLL team associated with Bowmar Elementary School. The purpose of this blog is to help other students interested in robotics to learn from what we have learned. As an FLL Robotics team we use the Lego EV3 robotics system and the Mindstorms graphical programming language.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Space Hazards - Radiation


I believe that the radiation problem is the most interesting because it is the most dangerous. It is challenging because so many things can go wrong that it seems almost impossible. 


Thomas K.

Super Mario Effect - Student Answers


You have to focus really hard on something to accomplish it. If you don’t succeed the first time, try again. You cannot focus on how you can fail.
-Caleb P.

“We can treat life’s challenges and tasks like video games to trick our brains into learning more, making learning more fun”
-Cody B.

The Mario effect is about thinking how you think. You also need to focus on the end goal. 
-Jacob B.

The most important point of the Super Mario effect is that we continue to try because we know success is inevitable.  As a team we can share our experiences and learn how to better navigate the course. The Super Mario effect shows is how to be better students knowing the more we play the better we get. 
-Avery W.

The Super Mario Effect tricks our minds into thinking more and learning more. It makes you think about the end goal and not how you failed. It makes you want to keep on trying. You can use the super Mario effect to change how you learn by making it seem fun and tricking the mind to think that it is a cooler way to learn. It makes you learn as a team because you use each other's minds and not just yours to reach the end goal. If there was no end goal, you won't be motivated. For example, if you are taking a quiz, and the teacher says try to be first, and there is nothing that the teacher is going to give you, you are not going to be motivated to try to be first. We use the super Mario effect to be a better student because we have more fun learning things and learn more. The Super Mario Effect is a really cool way to learn for kids AND adults.
-Heer P.

 The point of the Mario Effect is trying to accomplish a goal, while noticing difficult obstacles and coming up with an easier solution to reach the goal that has been set.
-Ethan S.

The Super Mario Effect is about not giving up but to keep on trying.
-Thomas K.

 The point of the Mario Effect is trying to accomplish a goal, while noticing difficult obstacles and coming up with an easier solution to reach the goal that has been set.
-Samuel W.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Super Mario Effect

By Coach Byrd

We have been learning about the Super Mario Effect. In essence it involves what is called "metacognition" - thinking about how we think. When we think of learning experiences as tests, we tend to try less and give up more easily. When we think of learning experiences as games and challenges to be conquered, we spend more time learning and they are more fun for us. We get more or less out of the experience based on how we mentally frame the experience.

The challenge for us as coaches for teams of students whose goal as a team is to learn, is to make the learning process more effective. Using the Super Mario Effect is a critical tool to turn challenging situations into fun challenging situations that we want to learn from. Gamification (the Super Mario Effect) is a very helpful approach.

We can learn a lot from the Super Mario Effect:

  • We need a fun, visual, interactive way of framing the problem - You could write down the buttons to push to solve the levels for super mario, but that doesn't make it fun.
  • Focus is on learning from the process and not the failures - When you die in the game, you just start over and try again. Celebrate how far you get and learn from your failures
  • Engaging, hands-on experiences really strengthen the process - Everybody plays, everybody learns.
  • Goals and successes we can celebrate when we accomplish them - you need a Princess Peach to save and when you do, you do your happy dance
  • Appropriate challenges - earlier levels are simpler and have simpler bad guys. Start with challenges appropriate to the skill set and build up. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gear Sizes

By Lauren K.
We measured gear sizes in terms of spacing of holes in the technic beams.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Main Robot Components

By Mateo Byrd

There are several components that each robot must have.

The central component is the controller. It commands the robot. It stores programs, commands the attachments, and stores feedback from the sensors.  
The second is the drive train. The job of the drive train is to move the robot into its position.
The third is the sensor array. It receives information about the space around it.

The fourth is the attachment drive train. The purpose of the
The fifth is the attachments



Friday, December 15, 2017

Water-The Key To Survival

By Lauren K.
We visited the WTP(water treatment plant) for a mini robotics field trip.Our guide's name was Eddie Busby,who was great by the way.He showed us three or four different parts of the plant.One was the filter they used to clean the water,the second was the clarifyer which was used to store the clean water after it was cleaned by the filter,then they showed us an empty clarifyer because they have two.Then after they showed us the main parts one of the guides showed us  an old piece of dried sludge that grew on the walls of the clarifyer. After the tour we went back to the school and that was it.