Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To the Future and Beyond...Team Just Ducky

Today, we aimed for the Sky and we don't think we missed, we were just off course today. We were disappointed, our robot, EPIC couldn't show you its' best three minutes of the past hour.

Our technical frustration shortly gave way to our ultimate understanding that overall Team Just Ducky has given its' finest to this competition for the past three months. The team developed skills beyond those originally anticipated. This MoonBots challenge provided the unique opportunity to further our enthusiasm into the STEM world.

We thank you many times over for all the efforts of those in front and behind the many facets of the MoonBots camera. We appreciate this wonderful joint program geared to the common goal of inspiring our next generation of rocket scientists headed toward Earth's off shore island. We were awed by the 3,023 total hit views to our Team Video Blogs that we humbly leave to our country's space heritage. To the Future and Beyond.... Thank You!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thank You!!!!!

The Lunar Welcome Mat

Thank You From The Just Ducky Parents

The MoonBots competition has been an incredible, hands-on learning, STEM experience for our teenagers during a time we now fondly refer to as “The Summer of The MoonBots”. Lunar X Prize Foundation and LEGO Mindstorms opened a whole new world of exploration for our team.

We have listened intently to our government highlighting the “Educate to Innovate” campaign. We don’t know when this STEM initiative will reach our Midwestern farms and suburban side streets. But this program when implemented seems to focus on older students in high school and college. By this time it is too late for most students. We echo Dr. Bobby Braun’s thoughts in his August 9, 2010 open letter to college students: “Good systems engineers are not born; they are created over time”.

As 9th and 10th graders, our children are eager to develop their engineering and research skills to the next level (FTC) if they were to win a kit. With each competition, we watched our team tackle difficult engineering problems and solve real world issues. They worked with intense determination and energy. The MoonBots challenge launched these young minds into the future galaxy of endless creativity on their way to becoming the problem solvers of tomorrow.

As parents we want a better world for our kids. We want to encourage their ability to understand our world and beyond always. Thank you to all the sponsors and efforts of Google Lunar X Prize MoonBots for answering our educational call with this lunar spark. We are the parents of future global thinkers, inventors and aerospace engineers. MoonBots opened an important door for our teens. We will responsibly keep the door open, the welcome mat out and the Just Ducky cupcakes baking in our Midwest ovens J

Final Blog from Team Just Ducky Members

It is three FULL Moons later and we once again find ourselves racing to the finishing line, this time to the ticking time clock of MoonBots Phase 2. The bright Green Corn Moon of our August sky lies more than 252,000 miles away. This is where we set out to explore in earnest. We had some failures, some success and lots of fun. We learned more than we thought we would. We aimed for the sky and tried not to miss. This glowing moon is within our grasp. We want to continue our lunar journey. Thank you to the Lunar X Prize Foundation, LEGO Mindstorm and all of the sponsors for challenging the skills of our 9th and 10th grade minds. We tried our best and look forward to our EPIC robot run this week.

Homemade Space Fuel

Ducks who like cupcakes? Yes, that is us here at Team Just Ducky taking a break with our official space food. With each delicious bite of home baked goodness we are energized to keep tackling our MoonBots challenges and obstacles as we forge ahead toward the finish line of Phase 2 .

We will remember to pack a Midwestern bakers dozen in the Lego basket for our EPIC robot as energy to survive those long and cold lunar nights and install a program to leave a crumb trail ( Lunar artifacts) leading back home (Base) as a back up plan to the mission video. Perhaps the extra sweetness, creamy butter and frosting sprinkles will become ‘ Legendary’ to our Space Heritage.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010


We decided we had given The Tree holding our Legendary rocket section hostage ample time to give this rocket section back to us after the initial refusal to give back our rocket and parachute .

With our Team Just Ducky cooperative attitude we waited patiently for the natural winds and rains to persuade The Tree to do the right thing. However bargaining to resolution needed to be stepped up as our ongoing Midwestern humidity and heat could deteriorate the rocket body beyond reuse.

Of the numerous negotiating options suggested to us we chose the appearance of our farm chainsaw in hand in the hopes of ending with a win/win solution. Out of the woods appeared fawn twins as neutral mediators and the negotiations began.

As of this writing The Tree lowered the parachute several branch levels down as it showed the red parachute smiling against the setting sun. Compromise is a sign of strength not a weakness. We are confident all will end well as we keep learning the process of bargaining to satisfaction for all involved parties.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Final Cut Express

I am involved in the production and editing of our "ducumentary". The long weeks, days and hours is exhausting. After all of the hard work we now have 30 seconds of great film. With only 4o hours left, we will complete the last 4 minutes 30 seconds of our documentary.