Friday, May 28, 2010

Last Blog of Team Just Ducky of Phase One: FLY ME TO THE MOON

In these final hours and minutes of this Google Lunar X Prize Challenge… our team is using the energy of this month’s Full FLOWER Moon to beam our ideas across the Wisconsin and Minnesota State lines to gallantly complete the mission requirements of Phase 1. Here in WI we are humming the words to the 1954 Bart Howard song “Fly Me to the Moon “ to our Minnesota friends and the team robot, EPIC.

Hope you all join in as our team robot sings along with Frank Sinatra… “Fly Me to the Moon, Let me play among the Stars” ….. I am ready to BLAST OFF to Phase 2 with a countdown to June……

Thanks for the challenge Google Lunar X Prize Foundation and Lego Mindstorms!

******The total amount of views for our Team Video is 215!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Full Moon

Team members are observing the beautiful full moon tonight… visible here in WI and MN

What would a compass on the moon point to?

Dear Dr. Stern,

I am student teaching in an 8th grade science class. We have been studying the earth's magnetic force, and the question was asked by one of the students, Lars, "What would a compass on the moon point to?" I know that the moon has no internal magnetic force, but does have some areas on the surface that are magnetized. Would a compass point to these? Thank you for your help with this question.


Your information about the moon is correct, but your students should bear in mind two points. One, we are used to regarding the compass needle as a sensitive instrument. It may be so, compared to other everyday indicators of magnetic forces, but space-borne electronic magnetometers, such as have mapped magnetism in space, are many thousands of times more sensitive. I would suspect that the weak magnetization of some areas on the moon is not nearly strong enough to move the needle of an ordinary compass, even in the weaker gravity.

You can find more about such magnetometers in

Even if the technical description of such instruments is beyond your students, they may be interested in the way they were used by Dr. David Cohen at MIT.

And secondly, the magnetic force, on Earth or on the moon, is usually not horizontal. That is discussed very briefly in
and in more detail at the end of

An ordinary compass only responds to the horizontal part of the force, and in a complicated magnetic field, this can be highly variable--towards magnetized patches, away from them, or neither. I do not have a magnetic map of the moon, but your students may look at one of Mars, which is also magnetized in patches, and appreciably more strongly than the Moon (though it lacks a core field like the Earth's). See map at the very end of
and the link given there (since then that map has been made more accurate).

21. Why do iron filings outline magnetic field lines

Day 13

Added: 1 day ago
From: JustDuckytotheMoon
Views: 155
  • Just Ducky, did a more than a just ducky job on this video. Great video editing and excellent examples. I did not realize all the implications to space research and space travel.
  • This is an "epic"-ly good video.
    Great green-screen use!
  • Great Job Just Ducky!! I love the green screen special effects. Hope you can make it to the moon for all mankind:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 9, 10, 11, 12

Team Just Ducky, MoonBots Video

Video complete and posted on utube.

Continued to test robot prototypes.

Steffan and Lars set up Skype accounts. Both building CAD robot using Lego Digital Design.

The White House/Facebook

The White House: Hello Mr. President, We are a team of 8th and 9th graders in MN and WI interested in space travel to the moon. Here is our video we made for the upcoming Google Lunar X Prize Lego Mindstorms MOONBOTS challenge.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day Seven and Eight

Made CAD drawings of lunar rovers. Tested prototypes. Need to work more on accuracy.

Filmed movie, and began editing.

Ate the last of the official lunar chocolate cupcakes. Boys had a triple sleepover!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day Six

Team discussion: How to land robots on the moon, Lunar X Prize spacecrafts, weight of spacecraft needed for deep space, and the moon’s surface (Regolith, dust, soil, broken rock, the Three Great Basins, the highlands, and learned about skylights).

Analyzed our data to make our robot design better.

Ate a lot of pizza, candy bars, and of course chocolate cupcakes!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day Five

Today we listed all the positive and negative response we received from our survey results. We continued to research potential reasons why we should travel to the moon. Using large chart paper we wrote all our requirements for phase one and taped them to our dinning room walls (don’t worry, our mom plans to paint them this summer). After reviewing our research we started to collect our teams thoughts and decided on our video theme. We feel like everything is falling into place. The other three members of our team will be spending the night on Friday. Lars will be traveling from Wisconsin to Minnesota to spend the weekend with our family. We plan to get a lot accomplished this weekend. Still finding some glitches in Lego Digital Design.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day Four

Day 4,
....we decided to share our research with the rest of the teams competing, we began publishing our survey results. We are learning that educating the public about the benefits of space travel is essential! At first we were inclined to say , "It's a waste of money" boy were we wrong!!!!!!

Day Three

Day 3,
...... continued with our research. We were encouraged and astonished with the responses from our surveys. The team started to learn Lego Digital Designer, finding it was hard to use until you learn how to get everything lined up and learn all the tricks. We began compiling survey results and realized the power of knowledge, when groups of people work together solving world problems.

Day Two

Day 2,
Our second day we continued to research the Google Lunar X Prize Teams, the moon, and space travel. After some review we replaced the old website with a new one. Deciding on Google Sites, a free website creator, we remade a better website. We decided to create and send a survey to a variety of people asking them to answer the question "Why should we go to the moon?".

Day One

Day 1,
Phase one:
We received an email on May 14, introducing the Moonbots Competition.
Saturday we scrambled to form a team and meet all the requirements needed to be eligible to participate in the challenge. The task of creating a website and blog was new to our team members. This in itself was a challenge for us. We accomplished a lot our first day. With these requirements met, we ended the day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why should we go to the moon?

In this post we will be keeping a survey about why people should go to the moon. All of these answers are from people who have been asked the same question.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just Ducky!!

This is a team created from the FLL Robotics team called "DUCK with the HUD".