347 reputation
314
bio website ascendly.com
location Belmont, MA
age 44
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen Dec 1 '13 at 21:53

I run Ascendly.com, a new venture that teaches engineering to kids, starting in Kindergarten. We use LEGO bricks to convey the engineering thought process, along with useful skills needed to effectively build cool stuff.

I also run ElegantTechnologies.com, which makes the occasional iPhone app.

I'm occasionally on Twitter: @ascendlyJJ


May
22
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
It looks like the best answer is 'nobody does it as well as LEGO' - thanks to all of the other suggestions. I'm trying to talk to corporate LEGO and I might put in a cuusoo suggestion.
May
8
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
I'm actually more concerned about quality than price.
May
7
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
I haven't tried eating them - sounds grisly. In my classes, each student gets their own kit so they don't have to share. They get a 1.5 litre box of 2x4s, and a 1.5 litre box of 2x2s, which for a class of ~16 kids ends up being about 9,000 bricks. Each simultaneous coach and/or school needs their own set - so it adds up quickly. You can see a picture here: ascendly.com/page/jj-rohrer-ascendlyjj-23
May
7
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
The boxes are great for, say 5 boxes at a time, but stores have limits on what they are able to get. So, I'm hoping to find a better and more reliable source.
May
7
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
I updated the question to clarify that I buy a bunch from the stores now, but they sort of struggle buying more than 10 boxes at a time. Its sort of hit-or-miss, which is a tough way for me to run a business.
May
3
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
I've utilized the LEGO stores extensively, but their inventory is quite unreliable for the quantities I'm interested in, even when ordering them ahead of time.
May
3
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
Although I've already talked with LEGO, I hadn't heard of the LUGbulk program. I could be an option, thanks.
May
2
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
I also just noticed this wikipedia article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_clone which might help.
May
2
comment Factories that could make off-patent bricks?
Thanks for the pointers. Unfortunately, 10K of bricks isn't nearly enough and I routinely wipe the whole inventory of item on bricklink. I'm sort of expecting to have make a fresh mold, but it would certainly be nicer to avoid it.
Jul
20
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
When I asked this question, I was finishing up a blog entry on the topic, which incorporated some of the answers given here. You can see the final article here: ascendly.com/page/…
Oct
31
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
A friend suggested this funny video on brick safety: facebook.com/…
Oct
29
comment Bridge from just basic bricks?
I've added this as a meta topic for discussion meta.bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/59/…
Oct
29
comment Bridge from just basic bricks?
Pubby8 asked this bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/273/… I feel that either these should both be closed, or neither should be.
Oct
29
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
Why is this getting downvoted. A down-vote without an explanation is very discouraging.
Oct
29
comment Bridge from just basic bricks?
I disagree that this is off topic. I think Joubarc's answer is perfect. The question is practical - I face this problem. And although it is open ended, it is not inherently open ended, any more than any 'what is the best' type of question, which are often asked and answer, for example, on stack overflow. I do like Zhaph - Ben Duguid's suggestion as being significantly more constructive and less discouraging than simply closing this.
Oct
28
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
Is the electric hazard a real and documented hazard, or more of a perceived hazard? I'm just sort of wondering if the voltage is ever high enough to cause any actual damage.
Oct
28
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
My students often use a cafeteria tray. I introduced them, originally, to just keep the mess confined, sort of anchoring the activity, even if not everything stays on the tray. A tray has an added benefit of providing a hard surface for building on, useful with carpet.
Oct
28
comment LEGO Safety: Known risks and how to avoid them?
I wonder how much of a risk there is to slipping on a brick? Especially considering most school have those very hard floors.