[Bf-education] A kind of Lego Digital Designer

Edwin Pilobello e_pilobello at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 18 19:38:55 CET 2010

----- Original Message ----
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 10:22:14 -0700
From: "John R. Nyquist" <john at nyquist.net>
Subject: Re: [Bf-education] A kind of Lego Digital Designer

What a great idea for an exercise in seeing and translating that to

Regarding your other question, what age group are we talking about? Maybe
something like Alice?

I believe she teaches 2nd grade (8 year olds).  I'm not sure though.

I like Alice and teach it every Spring term to non-CS majors.  Last time I tried 
to use beta-3, it had only one view.  So we fell back on v2.2 to avail of split 
screen orthographic views.

For the design of the "game", I imagine limiting the UI to picking a block, 
coloring it, then moving and positioning it in 3D space.
I'd take out scaling and whatever else one cannot do to a physical block of 

In the "full" version of this exercise, the students get to build their 
inventory of blocks.  They have to choose the units, usually one BU to an inch 
and build all the blocks in layer 1.  When everyone is done modeling all 
the shapes of blocks in layer 1, then the fun begins. They each in turn, come to 
the front of the class to lay out a physical model for about two minutes.  They 
then have two minutes to copy the individual blocks from layer one to the 
assigned layer, duplicate as many as needed, then position each block to 
re-create the physical model.  To grade, I go to each layer and see how they put 
the virtual model together.  This is usually my first in-class exercise after 
they've learned to create basic block shapes.

The "lite" version of this exercise starts with a blend file where all the 
blocks in layer one already built.  This was the exercise that the teacher's son 
got to practice in a "Talented and Gifted" class at a middle schools.

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