You are currently using a "solutions and review" course and it is important to learn how to use it to prepare for competitions. The next few steps will help you.
The "solutions and review" courses are structured in lessons. Each lesson looks at a different mission or set of missions from the competition. To prepare at home or with a team, you should:
- Watch the tutorial introducing the mission and how we've accomplished it (5-10 minutes)
- Read, watch and make sure you understand the rules of the mission (2-3 minutes). Discuss them with other team members.
- At this point you should understand the mission and how it could be accomplished.
- Decide how you are going to build the mission model:
- If you have the parts, then follow the building instructions for the original model. (~10 minutes)
- If you don't have the parts, then build an alternative model, if we've suggested one. It will require parts from the set. (~ 10 minutes)
- If you don't have the parts or there is no alternative model, then think of your own "Alternative Model" that mimics the behavior of the original model. Use any parts that you have. (~ 15 minutes)
- Build the robot that we've suggested. (~ 10 minutes)
- Build the attachment that we've suggested. (~ 5-10 minutes)
- Download the program that we've suggested to the robot. (~ 1 minute)
- If you've built the exact mission model as it is in the competition, then try to accomplish the mission.
- If you've built an "Alternative Model", then slightly modify the attachment and the program to accomplish the "Alternative mission".
Once you get used to it, it's easy. We promise! Here is the deal - we need 'Alternative models' and 'Alternative missions' to facilitate learning in a team of students or when you can not build the specific mission models.
There are competitions like FIRST LEGO League where, each year, the challenge is unique, the models are unique, and the missions are unique. They are all built from LEGO, that's true, but sometimes the parts are out of stock or very difficult to purchase, which makes it hard to build exactly the same models. And there is no need to!
An Alternative model is a mission model similar to the original mission model but built from parts that are more easily accessible - like parts in the set that you have - for example, LEGO Education SPIKE Prime. The Alternative model is close to the real one, but it could be 90% similar or 10% similar. There is no specific requirement as long as the new alternative model allows you to accomplish the same kind of mission - for example, a mission model that can be accomplished by "flipping" a part should have an Alternative model that again could be accomplished by "flipping". That's it. It is the same for mission models that require lifting or pushing. As long as the Action in both models is the same, the Alternative model is fine.
Sometimes a specific mission from a specific competition is too difficult to replicate without the field and the challenge set. That's why we have Alternative Models. But once the model is an alternative to the original, naturally, the mission becomes an alternative. You don't have to follow the same rules as in the original as long as the alternative mission is kind of similar.
How does this benefit us?
Well, many team members could work on the same lesson in the same course but they could build and accomplish their own Alternative mission model and their own Alternative mission.
The other great benefit is that because you can build Alternative models and accomplish the Alternative missions, you can practice for as long as you want while you don't need the original field and original mission models. You can become better and better.