What is an "Alternative model" and "Alternative mission"? Pro Preview

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.

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  • #2169
  • 02 May 2023
  • 7:02

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!

Alternative Model

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.

Alternative Mission

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.


In this video tutorial, I'd like to introduce you to our concept of alternative mission models and alternative missions. Here is the deal: it's pretty simple once you get it. When you try to prepare for a competition, before the competition, you need a way to practice. And that's why we've prepared a solution and review course for almost any competition, especially for the FIRST LEGO League. This means that in the months before the competition, you can sit down and you can practice - practice like solving a mathematical problem. It's just practice, practice, practice. But to practice, you need the original field and the original mission model. But you don't have them. And that's okay. You don't have them because they are not easily accessible on the market. You cannot purchase them. And in the same time, they require parts that are not very easy to find. They are specific parts for the specific challenges. So you try to prepare for the competition, but you can't because you don't have the parts. And there's no need to have the parts. This is where the alternative mission model comes into play. Sometimes, the missions are unique, very unique. And the mission models are very unique. Here is one mission model. It's a dinosaur from the FIRST LEGO League 2022 SUPERPOWERED. But the goal of the mission for this dinosaur, when we accomplish it, the goal is to bring it from one place on the field to another place on the field. That's it. We have the dinosaur. It makes things fun and interesting. But in order for us to learn how to build robots that could pick up a dinosaur and move this dinosaur from one place on the field to another place on the field, we don't need a dinosaur. We can use any other set of parts collected from different sets that we have in the room, in the venue, in the class, at home... And we can build something similar, and we can even make it fun. It doesn't have to look like a dinosaur. It could be another animal. It could be just a simple square structure - something. And, then, we practice bringing this new thing from one end of the field to the other. We don't need this dinosaur for this specific mission. Now, you'll say: What if the mission is a little bit more complex? Here is one mission from the same FIRST LEGO League 2022. And what we had to do is to push on this mission model, and we have the TV go up. That was the mission. So, we can't find the parts, or it will take us a lot of time to find the parts for this particular mission model. But what we can do is that we can build something similar. We can build an alternative mission model. Something that will lift the model up when we push. And that's fun because we've attached the instructions for this particular mission model. You can see the instructions, you can see how this works. And you can use the parts that you have from your other LEGO sets, and you can try to build something similar. This is how you learn to build. This is how you learn to build and following different principles for building. And then, once you have a similar mission model, you have a similar mission. You don't have to accomplish the same exact mission because the same exact mission will require the same exact mission model on the same exact field. But as we mentioned, we don't have the mission model. We don't have the field. We build an alternative mission model, and from there, we have an alternative mission. The only requirement is that they are similar enough, And they accomplish the same mission. So, if we have an original mission that requires us to flip a part, then we should build an alternative mission that requires us to flip a part. It might be a different part, but again, it's flipping. So we learn the principle of flipping. And, in the lessons we've prepared instructions and videos of how you do flipping. And now you just have to apply it to an alternative mission on an alternative mission model. How does this benefit us? In the following way. Let's say that you have a team of students, or you are a part of a team of students. Ten students, five robots. How do you go about even learning? What you can do is the following thing. You can split and you can have groups of two or three students that are working on a mission for bringing a dinosaur from one end of the field to another end of the field. And this group would try to build an alternative dinosaur from parts that they have. Another group of students, two or three students, could build a penguin. Why not a penguin? A third could build a rabbit, for example. In this way, we have four or five different animals that we are bringing from one end of the field to another. And we don't also have to bring it from the exact same location as it was in the original mission to the exact same location on the field. We can change it. We can experiment. As long as we keep the complexity of the challenge the same, we can use alternative models and alternative missions. The other way this could benefit us is in the months before the competition, you can use this with your children, with your students, with your team members to prepare for competitions. You can accomplish 20, 30, 50 different missions. They are alternatives. And you can learn all these principles for accomplishing missions from building attachments, using box robots, and then pushing, pulling, flipping. And when the new season arrives, you are ready. You have accomplished already 50 missions in the summer, and you're ready for the new competition. That's it. This is how you use alternative mission models and alternative missions to help you learn more about building more reliable and consistent robots that could accomplish almost any mission. That's it. I hope this is helpful, and let us know how it goes in the course.

Courses and lessons with this Tutorial

This Tutorial is used in the following courses and lessons

Image for FIRST LEGO League 2021-2022 Cargo Connect solutions and review with LEGO Education SPIKE Prime
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Image for FIRST LEGO League 2022-2023 Super Powered solutions and review with Chain Monster box robot from LEGO Education SPIKE Prime
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Image for FIRST LEGO League 2022-2023 SUPERPOWERED solutions and review with Kriket Box robot from LEGO Education SPIKE Prime
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Image for How to use this course
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  • 3d_rotation 0