Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quest #6 - Creature

Design a creature.

A creature, is a living organism, generally the non-human kind.
Insects, bugs, birds, animals, sea creatures, plants, fungus, micro-organisms, maybe even other worldly?

This creature can be something that already exists, or it can be something that you have just discovered. It can live on Earth, or a different planet.

What I would like to know is its habitat - the environment in which it lives. You can tell me anything about this creature to describe it, like its name, what it eats, etc. Share as much or as little information as you like.

Here are the cool creations kids from around the world made in response to this challenge. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tool Photos

"The Tunnel Taxi" by Chad, age 8, Ontario, Canada
Chad says it's a "tool that drills tunnels through the ground, mighty rocks and volcanoes while transporting people across the world." A world-wide taxi and a drilling machine! Just what I always thought was missing in our world! I especially like the driver's top hat, for when he is a chauffeur. But you can't beat the two rock crushing chainsaws on the front with fire spewing out from behind. Awesome invented tool, Chad!

"Hammer" by Spencer, age 5, Arizona, USA
Nice hammer design! Great sturdy headpiece for hitting things with, and a good, long handle for grip. Way to go, Spencer!

"Dragon Slayer" by Nathan, age 7, Arizona, USA
Yikes, this looks like a deadly tool for slaying dragons! I like how long it is, so you don't have to get too close to any dragons. The slightly pointed tip reminds me of a sword, and the holes in the handle part would be great for cooling off those sweaty hands. Great design, Nathan!

"The Mega Driller" by Simon, age 7, Saskatchewan, Canada
Simon tells me "this drills down into deep caves. The control booth swivels 360 degrees around, and the drill arm moves up and down. To make the drill turn, you spin the grey thing on top of the drill with your hand." Very elaborate creation. I'm noticing how this machine has a nice wide base to counter the weight of the huge drill arm. I love how you can physically move the drill bit yourself, for added drama. Wonderful creation, Simon!

"Vordo Paintbrush/Motorcycle Tool" by Isaac, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am very intrigued by this construction, and perhaps especially the title. What comes to mind is a special vehicle that paints the lines on the highway roads. This one seems especially fast, thus suited for the high speeds of highway travel. The two extra large wheels at back would give this motorcycle some serious acceleration. The protruding nose of the vehicle seems to be where the paint would come out. What an interesting creation, Isaac.

"The Grabber", by Nico, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
Nico says "it's a strong bionic hand." This looks as though it would clamp up on an object, and like the title says, grab something. Nice monochromatic colour scheme. This is a great, compact design, specially suited to take with you, for all your grabbing needs. Great balance and symmetry, Nico!

by Ben, age 7, West Midlands, England
Ben tells me "it's a grape crusher, to make them softer to eat for dogs and for chickens." What a cool design, so tiny you could keep it in your pocket. You never know when you will suddenly have a need to feed softer grapes to dogs or chickens! But you will be ready with this brilliant contraption! I especially love how you've shown us scale by having the grape in the creation. I'd imagine, if this design was built much larger, you might have a grape crusher for making grape juice? So cool, Ben!

by Hetty, age 9, West Midlands, England
Hetty says "it's a grinder for getting rocks out of your vegetable patch. The front piece slices up the rock and sends it up the tubes. The back piece grinds it into sand which is used to run the machine." What a brilliant machine this is. I have always labored by hand with all those nasty stones in my garden, now there is a tool, especially for the job. The most impressive feature of this machine is that it takes something you don't want, rocks in your garden, and not only removes them but turns them into the fuel that runs this very machine. Superb green design, Hetty!

"Invisible Ray Gun", by Nic, age 8, Arizona, USA
Nic says "whatever you shoot it at, turns invisible." I am really glad this gun isn't pointing at me! Although invisibility might have it's advantages. What a fabulous creation. Would you use it on something that needs fixing, so you couldn't see it anymore? Out of site, out of mind! Or perhaps it would be used on yourself, in those times you want to literally evaporate. Great 'step' handle and long barrel. This is one cool tool, Nic!

"A Gun Tool" by Islove, age 3, Ontario, Canada
Islove, I love your creations. This one has impressive height and a lovely foot and head piece. You certainly have a strong sense of your own style, working in this range of comfort gives your creations a nice, bold feel. That one red block really stands out for me. Draws my eye right to it. Great invention!

"A Wrench" by Faenin, age 5, Ontario, Canada
Yes, I can certainly see the wrench headpiece. What a clear, understandable design. I like how you used the green base to place all your other bricks on. This looks like a tool every toolbox should have in it. Very smart construction, Faenin!

"Crane" by Lily, age 9, Manitoba, Canada
I was told this crane "includes a hook which hangs from a line of sewing thread which she clamped between two blocks at the top of the crane's arm." Now that is some smart thinking, to clamp thread between two blocks and attach a hook to it. This beautiful, compact vehicle design nicely offsets the towering crane arm. I wonder if the hook could actually hold something? What a great construction, Lily!

"Bucket Loader" by Mr. Boo, age 7, Manitoba, Canada
I was told that "Mr. Boo and his big brother decided this bucket loader should have tracks, so they put two thick elastic bands around the wheels, one on each side." I'm really glad you told me this, because I can't see the elastic bands in the picture, but I think that is an awesome addition. What a nice big vehicle, complete with two people on it. Is one person driving and the other operating the bucket arm? I'm also noticing the ramp at the back, possibly for the balance of the vehicle or for getting on and off. Superb construction!

Rachel, age 12, Pennsylvania, USA
Rachel tells me these are "a hammer, a sonic screwdriver (distant relation to Dr. Who's), and a saw."
I love how sturdy and well made the hammer looks. Brilliant construction of the saw complete with a handle for your hand. The sonic screwdriver design is a wonderful tool for bypassing all those locks that you have no keys for. Those are fabulous tools, Rachel!

"The Stinger and The Claw" by Michael, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada
Michael tells me "the Stinger grabs stuff and is used for lifting and moving around heavy cargo. The Claw is a spaceship with a powerful claw in the front for smashing other spaceships." The Stinger would be a great tool for when you need extra strength. Sort of like a mechanical arm piece, for when your muscles just aren't strong enough for the job. The Claw is appropriately named, and having a single purpose (to smash other spaceships) I bet it would be very good at it. I love how the actual claw is made up of a wine glass and a Bionicle tooth. Great tools, Michael.

"Wrench" by Ethan, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ethan says "it's used for screwing in bolts and lug nuts, and all types of different things. It's a space wrench, and also a handy earth wrench which can be used for fixing pipes."
That is just so smart to design a tool that can be used on Earth and in space! Nice double ended wrench, great for use on both sides. The handle looks extra strong for good grip. This is a simple, smart design, with nice balance and symmetry. Great tool, Ethan!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quest #5 - Tool

Hey LEGO Quest kids, ready for this weeks challenge?

Design a tool.

This can be something that already exists in the tool world, or it can be an invented tool for a particular job that you have in mind. This can be very simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. Maybe even think about some of the first tools ever invented by man or animal to serve them.

Here is the definition of the word tool:


1. an implement, esp. one held in a hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.

2. any instrument of manual operation.

3. the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planner, drill, or similar machine.

4. the machine itself, a machine tool.

5. anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.

6. a person manipulated by another for the latter's own end; cat's-paw.

7. a means to an end, (a book cover can be a marketing tool).

As you can see, lots of meanings, open for interpretation by the creator. Have fun, only play along if you are inspired by the challenge.

Here are the design solution other kids from around the world made in response to this challenge.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two Dimensional Photos

Wonderful creations this week, 20 in total, with some of our newest creators submitting all the way from England!

As you may remember, our quest was to build a two dimensional design, let's have a look.

by Hetty, age 7, West Midlands, England
This cool design looks like it could be a representation of any of these flags because of the colour scheme. Do I see the letter 'H' in there, for your name by any chance? Nice, bold creation, beautifully balanced by the repetition of lines. Perhaps this could be the new flag for a yet to be discovered place on Earth? Fantastic, Hetty!

by Ben, age 6, West Midlands, England
Fantastic pattern you made for your base by alternating red, yellow, and blue. True primary palette gives this design an interesting, strong look. I love that you wrote out your name. The red, curved pieces you used to make your 'B' and all the single pieces for your 'N' make this a really neat name plaque. Wonderful creation, Ben!

"A Snowy City at Night, with a Church and a House" by Nico, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
There is so much about this that's cool. I love how the title really says it all. Great church steeple, and wonderful red stained glass windows. The black base gives a perfect 'night' feel and the few falling snow flakes really tops it off. Really great, Nico!

"Our Garden in the Spring" by Keira, age 3, Saskatchewan, Canada
Lovely garden! I see yellow daffodils, red tulips, blue crocuses and little patches of spring grass. Beautiful abstract interpretation of a garden, Keira. I just love it.

"Two-Headed Monster with a Flaming Sword Standing on top of a Mountain" by Finnegan, age 6, Saskatchewan, Canada
That is one amazing mountain! I can tell this is a very large creation by how many floor boards it spans. I want to know how the monster got to the top!? I love how the mountain widens, then narrows several times. Great title and creation, Finnegan!

"2D Explosion" by Tal, age 11, California, USA
Tal says, "there was once a solar system of 2D planets: Planets that were actually flat. Two of these planets collided! There was a massive explosion, so large, it could be felt solar systems away! An alien managed to take a picture of it. THIS is the picture..." You are a great story teller, I want to hear more of this interesting tale. Nice use of Lego Digital Designer, which you introduced us to last week. Great explosion! I love that I can see the other, more distant planets. Very intriguing story, Tal!

"Speeder Bike" by Issac, age 8, Pennsylvania, USA
Speeder bike indeed. Are those rocket packs underneath? It looks like a super fast machine, almost like a snowmobile. I like how you took the 3rd dimension out, by laying it flat, smart thinking. Great design, Issac!

"Castle" by Rachel, age 12, Pennsylvania, USA
This is brilliant! I never would have thought to approach two dimensional in this way. Stacked on top of each other, but showing the edge of the design, much like sand art. Your brain has to think in a totally different way in order for this to work out. So awesome, Rachel!

"Checkers or Chess Board" by Justan, age 6, Illinois, USA
Perfect representation of a game board. The use of primary red and blue colours is a great contrast. I like how you used a combination of 4's an 2's bricks to create this design. I wonder if you could use Lego people as Chess players, and have a real game? Really cool creation Justan!

"Abstract" by Sophie, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada
This reminds me so much of the De Stijl art movement. Must be the colours and shapes. What I love about this piece is the fact that one little square space is left open to let the sun shine through it. It was made on a clear flat base, so this worked beautifully. So cool, Sophie!

"Panel of Panels" by Simon, age 7, Saskatchewan, Canada
Most impressive assembly. I feel like I am seeing a bunch of advertisements all at once, like in a large metropolis city where billboards overload your senses. A very busy, energetic design. There's no place for the eye to rest. Great use of all those interesting pieces, Simon!

by Lyn, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
This is a fantastic, classic piece of two dimensional artwork, with such a great frame! Nice representation of a tall house, complete with sky and ground. I would love to have this hanging on my walls. Just wonderful, Lyn!

by Angus, age 6, Saskatchewan, Canada
Angus, your geometric patterning is so sophisticated. This reminds me of a hand crafted quilt. The bands of colour that progressively get smaller draws the eye into the center, to the red bulls eye. Impressive Angus!

"Rocketship" by Isaac, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada
Isaac says there are "yellow and red rocket boosters at the bottom, the black door with a white handle and the window above the door." This is such a cool design, I like how the rocketship spans the entire height of this piece. The red and yellow bands across this creation give it nice balance and weight. Way to go, Isaac!

"Tulips and Dragons", by Ethan, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ethan says this was "done with Lego Digital Designer! (Thanks from us to Tal for the intro to LDD!)" I love the juxtaposition between beautiful delicate flowers and ferocious dragons! The repetition of same shapes brings wonderful balance to this fine creation. So great, Ethan!

"An Alligator" by Lennon, 9 years old, Ontario, Canada
I really am attracted to the liberties you took with colour. I enjoy the non-local choices you've used, giving your own, unique interpretation of an alligator. He looks as if he has gotten up on hind legs and is running through the swamps. Fantastic, Lennon!

"Man Trap Door House" by Islove, 3 years old, Ontario, Canada
The title makes this design so intriguing and open to interpretation in many ways. I like that you used only the bottom third, creating a sense of weight. Reminiscent of "a gunner" that you created in Quest #2. Similar kind of structure. Islove, you seem to have a "style" of your own, already, at 3 years old. Way to go!

"A dolphin" by Faenin, 5 years old, Ontario, Canada
Very nice mosaic of a dolphin. I love how soft and curved this looks even though the shapes used are hard and edged. Wonderful personal splashes of colour here and there. Fantastic, Faenin!

"The Building" by Nathan, age 7, Arizona, USA
Wonderful two dimensional representation of a building. Is it an airplane tower, skyscraper or lighthouse? I am reminded of all three. I like how you kept this design very low profile by using flat pieces. Great picture, Nathan!

"Number 14" by Gavin, age 3, Arizona, USA
I first thought the title told how many pieces of Lego were used, but that's not the case. This looks like the high diving board at the Olympics. Great idea to lay your final invention on its side to remove the 3rd dimension. Nice creation, Gavin!

You guys are amazing creators!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quest #4 - Two Dimensional

This weeks challenge is to create a Two dimensional design.

Two dimensions is having only the dimensions of height and width, like a square. Three dimensions is having height, width and depth, like a cube.

This can be almost anything. It can be a representation of an object, a piece of artwork (realistic, or abstract), a mosaic, a colour study, a picture from your favorite book?

The idea is to keep it flat. Pretend like you are drawing or painting or taking a photograph, but try to create it out of LEGO. Have fun, only play along if you feel inspired!

Here are what other kids from around the world created for this challenge.

Vessel Photos

Another great week here at LEGO Quest! We received 16 unique, inspired creations. As you know, the challenge was to design a vessel. The word vessel inspired different ideas from different people. Let's have a look:

Vessel, by Elijah, age 6, Alberta, Canada
This could be for the water or the sky, but only the creator knows for sure. The shape is dynamic and there are so many interesting different pieces of Lego used. I love the propeller (which leads me to believe it's more for the water). Awesome invention, Elijah!

"Vase" by Nathan, age 7, Arizona, USA
Wonderful shallow vessel. This reminds me of the Japanese Ikebana vase. Nicely executed, unique creation, Nathan!

"Just a Glass Cup" by Spencer, age 5, Arizona, USA
I love the retro 1970's colour scheme. I will guess this vessel is half full. Classic interpretation of the word vessel. Nice building, Spencer!

"Sailing vessel" by Rachel, age 12, Pennsylvania, USA
Great water craft creation. I really enjoy the little doorway and window. The bottom of the sailing vessel looks as though it would be underwater from the black deck down, almost ice berg style. Fascinating design, Rachel!

"Airplane" by Esther, age 10, Pennsylvania, USA
This airship reminds me a little of a helicopter with its wingspan on top of the plane. Nice, compact, unique construction. Wonderful interpretation of the word vessel, Esther!

"Hot tub plane" by Sophie age 5. Saskatchewan, Canada
Sophie tells me it's an "airplane with a hot tub on it. The Magma Monster on the front shouts 'All Aboard!'" What a great idea, why couldn't we fly through the air while relaxing in a hot tub? This looks like the perfect flying spa for those worn out Rock Monsters. Very creative, Sophie!

"Crystal Collector" by Simon, age 7, Saskatchewan, Canada
Simon tells me there is "a driver and two people who collect crystals. The crystals are put into the vessel for safe keeping." I spot the little gold vessel bowl holding the crystals. I really like the different heights this machine has and the cool front blasting gizmo. Very nice invention!

by Isaac, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada.
This is such an amazing fruit bowl! The size is spectacular and seems perfectly fitting for bananas. I love the wide, then narrow construction and the bright, multicoloured design. I definitely want this on my table! So cool, Isaac!

"Hydro Vessels" by G, age 5, Wisconsin, USA
G says "these vessels skim over and into water. The pilot of the left vessel doesn't know that he has a visitor yet - a large Shark is just about ready to pounce. The ship on the right is trying to remove a aqua rock monster that came from an underwater cave - but the Aqua Officer is hanging on for dear life!" What fabulous water vessels these are! I think the action packed story you are telling us about the people and creatures are what make these so extra fun to look at. So imaginative, G!

"Aircraft Vessels" by A, age 6, Wisconsin, USA
A says "these are transport ships to take equipment and people to other planets. One of the ships has been boarded by a Super Battle Droid, but lucky for them, a Clone Trooper is on his way to rescue the gentle passenger. The droids are heading to a droid conference to plan their moves - both in battle and on the dance floor." These look like very complex designs, with lots of little spaces for your creatures. Your story telling is wonderfully rich, and playful and has drawn me into your scene. So creative, A!

"Hydronica" by Ethan, age 8, Saskachewan, Canada
Ethan says “it’s a garbage collecting vessel that collects garbage in the oceans and seas. The scooper can move up and down.” Wow, this is exactly the kind of machine that needs inventing in the real world, since there is so much garbage in our oceans. I really like the scooper and it's arm. It looks like it would glide on the water's surface effortlessly. Great ingenuity, Ethan!

"Vase", by Angus, age 6, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The patterning on the base of this vase is wonderful. I love how the white gives a sense of calm before the pattern is repeated at the top. What fabulous flowers, the colour repetition between the flowers and the lego bricks is terrific! So cool, Angus!

"Wineglass" by Lyn, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Not only is this a great piece of functional artwork, but it also makes me want to pour my fermented grape juice into it. I wonder if it would leak? Have you tried pouring water into it? A monochromatic vessel. So awesome, Lyn!

"Plutonian hovercraft" by Nico, age 8, Saskatchewan, Canada
Nico say it has a "pop out lid, and is driven by 3 Plutonian alien pilots." This very interesting design looks large and sleek. I love the tank-like construction with hidden alien pilots deep inside. It looks as if it would be an almost silent craft. Perfectly original, Nico!

"Cargo Vessel" by Tal, age 11, Southern California, USA
Tal's Cargo Vessel was created in the LEGO Digital Designer. Tal says this is "a vehicle that travels long distances through space to transport cargo." What a great design. It looks as though it could handle large amounts of cargo and possibly even serve as a landing pad? Fantastic use of interactive media. Thank you, Tal, for introducing me to this wonderful program!

"Vessel of Destruction" by Justan, age 6, Illinois, USA
Justan says "the cannon is used to destroy evil boats. The machine gun under the cannon is half machine gun and half tow rope, used to pull boats closer. The black ninja uses the sled to rescue people on snowy mountains (the boat drops him off next to the mountain). The black ninja used to be the enemy, but he helped one of the crew. They made a deal that he will be good." What a rich story plot. So much is happening on this vessel. I love the rescue sled and all the good that this creation and it's people are doing. Big imagination, Justan!

Thank you LEGO Quest Kids, for your great, inventive, creative submissions!