This entry is cross-posted on the 20 Tech Blog.
This year is year 2 for my work with LEGO Robotics, and it has already expanded dramatically from last year. Whereas my efforts were primarily focused on the after school and summer school programs, this year so far has brought summer camps, a new competitive robotics team, new equipment to serve more students, and the beginning of classroom projects bringing robotics to all students in a classroom. Here's a run-through of what has been done so far this year.
|The line-drawing program the robot uses in this video provides a great introduction|
to programming with switch blocks.
FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
|Build and Program Team students work on troubleshooting|
issues with the robot on the challenge table.
|All team members take part in the research presentation and field questions |
from a panel of judges.
Classroom Projects: Lunar Rovers and LEGO Towns
|Third grade students at Searsport Elementary School work on building their lunar rovers.|
After this project is finished, I transition right into a project with second graders, as we build buildings and vehicles and all kinds of cool things as we learn more about communities!
I'm also in the process of making plans for a project at East Belfast and a project at Nickerson for the end of the year.
After School ProgramBecause my robotics equipment has been tied to classroom projects, it has not been available for use in the After School Program. However, it looks like there will be a large enough block of time in the year where I can bring that program back, but this time, I will be doing it over at the East Belfast School! The East Belfast After School program serves the Nickerson School as well, so I'll have a chance to work with students from two of my schools. While I don't have any final plans yet, I am excited at the opportunity to expand the reach of LEGO robotics to multiple schools.
New EquipmentFinally, while the new after school program helps me expand the reach of robotics in different buildings, I've been searching for equipment to help me expand the reach of robotics in different grades. The NXT kits that I have are great for the upper elementary students, but they are not very accessible to students in kindergarten, first and second grades. Therefore, I applied for and received a second grant from the Perloff Family Foundation for a series of LEGO We-Do kits! These kits will allow the younger students to build simple, interesting robots while learning about how gears and other pieces work. So far, I have distributed kits to a number of teachers to try out on their own, and I will be following up with them shortly on figuring out what we can do with the equipment and scheduling when the kits will be available at the different schools. I'm looking forward to deploying these new kits and establishing a larger pipeline of robotics-related activities in our schools that "STEM" from kindergarten and work their way up!
|One of many examples of crazy things that you can build and program (with help) with|
LEGO We-Do kits.