Pepperdine OMAET4 – VirtCamp Summer 2001 [images]

Room Full of Strangers

2001-07-31, Malibu CA. A little bit after 5 P.M. on Thursday, July 26, 2001 a number of strangers wandered into a nondescript room in Pepperdine University’s Culver City building. Two tables sat along two walls, one holding soft drinks, a pile of papers on the other, a world map on one wall with colored thumbtacks marking widely separated spots on the map. Thus we began to go from strangers to fellow educational explorers. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look at pictures from those first tentative days.

Building Bridges

Among the team-building activities, we participated in a highly competitive bridge-building activity in which teams of four were commissioned to build newspaper bridges using just the materials materials in the room. The bridges were judged based on their weight-bearing strength. There was some controversy when two teams decided to pool their resources. Click on the thumbnails below to view the pictures

Iron Chef

One of the concepts that was continually repeated to us during VirtCamp was that it was about the Process and not the Product. Well, our version of “Iron Chef” certainly communicated that precept, in that many of us were unfamiliar with the source TV show and even worse the culinary skills needed to successfully complete our assigned tasks. Fortunately, at least one person in each group either possessed the skills to complete the assignment or the fearlessness to grab the knife and literally take a stab at it. Click on the thumbnails below to view the pictures.

Lego/Logo Project

Team Members (l-r): Darlene Thomas - Recorder, Joe Bustillos - Hardware Specialist, and Christine Lorenz - Software Specialist

Team Members (l-r): Darlene Thomas – Recorder, Joe Bustillos – Hardware Specialist, and Christine Lorenz – Software Specialist

The Challenge:
To build a chair lift, cable care or gondola capable of pulling itself along a string. Use a second RXC brick as a remote Control for Navigating the suspended vehicle.

Day 1 – “The Approach”

We discussed the process and collaborated on the assignment. We then attempted to assign roles and task based on current skills. Christine was assigned to programming the brick because she had prior experience with lego logos in the class room . Joe was assigned to designing the Cable Car and I was responsible for the building the Paratrooper. I was unfamiliar with lego logos, but my team provided background information on the toy. I soon realized that building with lego’s was not the best use of my time, so I volunteered for documenting the process.

Day 2 – “Design and Build”

Joe and Christine had identified more then one design ideal for the cable car design. The first cable car design did not seem to be balanced enough to glide along the rope. We then attempted the second ideal, which I believe would have worked if we would not have encountered other problems. We changed the Cable string from an elastic texture to a woven texture to provide adequate support of the cable car’s weight. Now we were Ready to TEST!!!

Day 3 – “Problems”

We encountered the following problems:

  1. Christine had issues with the micro world software and was not able to get the program to work correctly.
  2. The brick did not responded to the commands so we exchanged it with another group. We relied on the other cadre members to answer questions and provide direction.

Day 4 – “Conclusion”

The Process of sharing ideals, collaboration, and building on each others strengths and weakness played an important role in this assignment. I learned a lot from my colleagues.

Report by Darlene Thomas

Poster Presentations

Most of our activities were group activities designed to engender our familiarity and trust of each other. On Sunday, July 29th, having separated into our Cadre we created and shared posters with symbols and pictures of things and people who were important to use. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look at pictures from our presentations.


We started out as strangers and in six short days ended up as friends and teams (or actually “cadres”). From places on opposite ends of the globe we came together to prepare for an unknown journey and quest that we were hoping could sustained on unfeeling wires and electronics because of what we had begun the last week of July 2001. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look at pictures taken while we were saying our good-byes.

Creative Commons License by Joseph Bruce Bustillos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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