My students live in a small supportive community, however, their families are far from being affluent with over 50% qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Some come to school ready to fully engage, others have many real-life obstacles to overcome before they can be ready to focus on learning. Last spring, my students explored using our two new LEGO Mindstorm EV3 kits and they found the building and coding challenging, interesting, and engaging, really empowering and exciting them to take charge of their learning.
It is suggested we use 1 kit for two students, but our groups will be composed of 4 students per group in order to more frugally launch the design process, robot building and coding challenges.
This DonorsChoose STEM robotic integrated project will add a needed 6th station in my class for each group of 4 students to rotate through 4 roles: Builder, Coder, Resource Manager, and Project Recorder as they collaborate on learning the design process and their 4 C’s + 1 real world skills. My classes have 22-28 students; each grade level rotates with 60 minute block periods every other day. Even with six LEGO Mindstorm EV3 sets, at the end of each period, all groups have to disassemble their build for the next class to use. The creation/building speed will increase with experience and detailed notes captured in their design journal. My students are so excited about these challenges and learning new coding skills! They are grateful to have the opportunity despite having to disassemble every class. This newly expanded curriculum will help our students gain communication, collaboration, critical thinking skills as they creatively engineer and program with grit and growth mindset.
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