The word “robot” brings to mind a humanoid capable of performing awesome tasks. On occasion, students do image a creature that is designed to harm them. Lego, however, brings the beauty of robotics through NXT, a robotics system that carries an appeal well beyond age and gender. The CTWorkshop’s robot explorations is an age-appropriate curriculum centered on “robots” or the adaptation of a machine into a “robot.”
Each program consists of two levels, basic & intermediate with an increasing level of difficulty. While Science or Math concepts are topical, programming and engineering design run as an intertwined thread through the course.
The program is designed to be:
- Adaptive: every robot project has adaptations designed to support the developmental need of the student
- Progressive: Builds upon and strengthens the existing knowledge of student.
- Inter-disciplinary: Linked to Science & Math concepts
- Developmental: Draws connections to questioning and understanding real-life concepts.
A session involves introduction to an engineering concept, followed by building a model from a guided plan, programming and testing it. A craft or a challenge activity or adaptation of the model is encouraged. Each project is designed to enhance a student’s concentration, dexterity, and problem solving, and thinking abilities in a dynamic and enjoyable environment.
The introductory project is followed by a project or two in each of the three categories: bio-mechanics, machines, and mobile projects.
- The exploration of a “robot” occurs in one of the 4 ways:
- Follow our technology plan to build a robot
- Design solutions to challenges suggested by the teacher or themselves
- Identify and connect with an meaningful concept and imagine and design their own robot
- Create a problem statement and a set of parameters and build a robot
All of the above approaches have their own merit, following a trajectory allows for reduced time on experimentation but allows for development of building strategies. In all modes the student follows the same:
- Understanding the real-life connection of the problem and the role of the robot
- Introduction to the Science and Math concepts in the robot
- Initial build of a model
- Initial program
- Trial and testing the robot
- Modifications to the build or the program
- Extensions or challenges to the build or the program
- Feedback & reflection of the robot
- Connections and comparisons with other robots
A student takes home a small booklet after completing each level, showing the model and some basic concepts to re-iterate the lessons.