Help me give my students replacement parts for our Robotics module! Due to the popularity of the Robotics module, and some of the less than durable Lego connecting components, we are in need of replacement connectors and motors.
My students are 7th and 8th graders conducting practical, hands-on lab activities involving all 4 STEM disciplines. This is achieved through a career based approach that addresses this age-old student question: When am I ever going to use this stuff they are teaching us? The Practical Technology Lab provides students with experiences to use the math and science they have learned, with the assistance of technology, to solve real-world problems that occur in 18 different job-related fields ranging from engineering and robotics to food science.
“If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow" ― John Dewey.
This quote perfectly addresses many comments I hear towards education in our rural, low socioeconomic community. Instead of teaching students in ways that were "good enough" in the past, we must prepare students for an unknown, ever-changing future by equipping them with the tools for problems we are not even aware of today.
Students in our lab are encouraged to use the STEM principles to think differently, try something new, and be unafraid to fail in the attempt. Great discoveries have come from doing no less! When given these freedoms, students can astound themselves and us all!
In our Robotics module the students learn to program a NXT brick to complete specific activities such as backing up when the robot senses an obstacle, preforming a function when a sound is made, and differentiating between colors so the robot will follow a line. The students then have to build the physical robot to carry the NXT brick and add structures needed to complete the activity they have programed the robot to do.
The funding of this project will allow the students to have the supplies necessary to continue learning valuable programming and engineering skills.
Since this module is so popular, many of our small, plastic connecting pieces have been broken, or lost through the years. Our motor, that allows the robot to move, has seen a lot of use and is showing signs of wear. I am very concerned each time a student signs up for this module that the motor is going to give out and they will not be able to complete all that they could have learned.
A complete new NXT set would cost over $500, but since we just need some of the pieces, it seemed like a waste to ask for a complete new set, so we are hoping to just get the few replacement parts we need.
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