My students are all second and third graders in a neighborhood that struggles economically. About one hundred percent of our students qualify for free lunches and breakfast. That, however, does not diminish their excitement for learning, especially if you incorporate things they like doing.
They are smart and very capable students with a true love of learning through real experiences.
The economic challenges do, however, have an impact on what they have available to help them learn. These are changing times and we have to constantly look for ways to not only keep students engaged, but also build their skills to prepare for potential future careers. We know that the future will require critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but it also requires a stronger background and understanding of science and technology. My students love hands-on learning.
M students love, love, love the LEGO Wedo robotics kits and the prebuilt lessons that come in the app. But they want to get creative, bold, daring and think outside the box or in this case the app. They can do that with the kits but they want to be able to add another layer in by having two separate working motors on one creation.
These additional motors will allow the students to create more complex robots with multiple motors that can be independently coded.
For example, have one motor controlling the wheels to move the crane to a location and then a second motor coded to raise and lower the object the crane is moving. LEGO Robotics is different from other robotic programs in that those robots come prebuilt and the creativity comes in just the coding but with LEGO they have to be engineers and actually design and build their robots. They love the challenge. This is at the heart of STEM and STEAM education.
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