For the first project, part of the STS-134 mission in February, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will build objects live on a video feed, while schoolkids build similar objects, so the students can see the differences in how objects behave on Earth and in space. Space shuttle Endeavour will carry nine specialized kits to the station in February during the STS-134 mission. Working with them inside a see-through glove box so the small pieces don’t get lost in the station, Astronaut Cady Coleman will assemble LEGO blocks into models and working machines.
Two small LEGO shuttles are packed inside Discovery for the STS-133 launch to promote the new partnership.
The Son has been highly interested in the LEGO Atlantis collection. Yesterday, when he got the LEGO Atlantis Neptune Carrier, I decided to film him assembling the kit. This is our second attempt at this experiment. The first was assembling the LEGO Atlantis Turbo Typhoon Sub
“In 1998, Lego posted a small loss; in 2003 a much bigger one; then in 2004, carnage.”
“Then he consulted old colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where he studied for a PhD in business and economics), who told him Lego is the ideal way for a child to learn how to think systematically and creatively – something that was confirmed to him by a cover story in Time, in which the Google founders said that it was Lego that had shaped their young minds.Then it dawned on him: the problem lay not with the product, but with the company’s attempts in the Nineties to make itself more modern and relevant in the age of video games. It had attempted to broaden its appeal to the young female market; it had tried to become a lifestyle brand with its own lines of clothes and watches; it had built more theme parks. But in doing so it had neglected its core business.”
“Thinking up brilliant new ideas, though, is only half the battle. No new product can be developed unless it fits perfectly within the Lego template. It must be a challenge to build (which is what sets Lego apart from the similar-looking but readymade products of rival Playmobil); it must be robust enough, once constructed, to survive rough play without falling to bits; and it must fit in with Lego’s family-friendly, cross-generational ethos.”
Ray Sims went to eBay and found people selling Lego bricks by the pound and others selling bricks in hundred piece packages. I saw his twitter message on the issue. That gave me the idea of trying an experiment with The GeekSon on how many pieces are in a pound of Lego bricks.
This GeekDad post summarizes our findings. (And Mrs. Doug’s thoughts on getting lots more Lego bricks!)