Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fun with Robots

The students have been enjoying exploring the world of robotics with the Roamers. Kindergarten through Second Grade students have been using the number line mats on the floors to solve some word problems. While the Third through Fifth Grade students have designed mazes for the Roamers to go through and used LEGO blocks as visual guides on the floor for the path the Roamer must follow in their mazes.

Each of the students have had to write their own programs for the robots before they can actually program the robots. The younger students have gotten so used to writing across a page that they are having to rethink their writing when they write their programs and are having to work more linear -vertically down the page, in a list.

Fifth Grade students have had an added challenge of having to program their Roamers to go in a figure-8 on the floor using plastic bins for the Roamers to move around. This is proving to be a bit of a challenge for them. I've suggested that they walk the figure-8 while saying the directions they are moving in out loud. Sometimes it helps our thinking when we are saying our directions verbally.

programming LEGO roboticsSome of the Fifth Grade students have also been enjoying the world of LEGO robotics with the We Do's. They love playing with the sounds while they are animating their robots. The bobbing duck twins and the alligator seems to be among the favorite designs for the students to build. The program on the computer that the students are using to actually program the robots seems to be easy enough for the students to use. Its similar to the LEGO Mind Storms application, but not as many loops and rotations they have to put in there.

Students programming a robot to move in a figure 8 Students testing out their robot program in the maze

animated twin ducks made from LEGO blocks and programmed for animation and sound
I wish we were able to have a few sets to keep here at the school so that we were able to explore with them more. But just like I keep trying to teach my students how to share, so I must also learn to share with others. We will have to pack up these Roamers, and the We Do's (Legos) and send them to another school for them to use and enjoy in a few weeks.


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