Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three Weeks In: A LEGO Robotics Update

Wow!  It's hard to believe we are already three weeks into our After School LEGO Robotics program at Searsport Elementary School!  The response has been amazing and parent support has been outstanding.  We've come a long way from our first week with nothing but a tub of LEGOs trying to figure out how to put everything together.  Now that we have complete robots, we have started with some introductory programming to get kids to learn how to make their robots move.  I've also had students attempting some challenge courses out in the hallway.  The first one is to try to figure out how to get their robots to start on the green line and finish on the first green line straight ahead of them.  If they complete that one, they then need to get their robot to start at the beginning, turn, and then finish on the green line of the whole course.  Then, if they complete that, they will repeat the second challenge, except they will then be trying to get their robots to return to the beginning and finish on the green line there.  We had a couple of groups who were able to get through the first two challenge and on their way to finishing the third!  Below are some examples of what they've been doing:

It was amazing to see how the students responded to being able to get their robots to successfully complete the challenges.  I think that it helps that the kids are taking ownership of their work, that they were the ones that got them to do what they wanted.  Still, given the world of gizmos and gadgets and video games that we live in, I think it's amazing to see how much excitement students get out of getting a robot to stop on a green piece of tape!

I'm looking forward to the next several weeks of robotics and I greatly appreciate all the support I have gotten throughout this process!

Next week:  the students will be trying the course above, where they will need to start inside the box, drive around the outside of it, and park back inside the box.  Any guesses as to what they'll be doing for the challenge on the right?

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