It’s Robo Time!
Since the first week of May our students have been participating our annual robotics science unit. This year has brought many changes and challenges. First of all, due to generous fundraising by our parent club and a donation, we were able to purchase more Lego Mindstorms NXT kits. These are the newest kits available. For the last several years our first year robotics students used the older RCX kits and the 2nd year students used the newer NXT kits.
Another change this year has been the use of Enchanting, a free and user-friendly programming software version for elementary students. With anything new, there can be a steep learning curve. Such was the case with our new software. While the interface is very easy to use for students (and teachers), the program has its share of bugs. However, our students have gained valuable experience in turning lemons into lemonade as became expert problem solvers when they encounter program bugs. At first many students were raising hands asking for help, but now they are taking steps to do their own problem solving. The help they now seek is for more deeper difficulties. After a few weeks, we found the program did not work well with the kits’ light sensors, which are a major component of the final challenge competitions. With the help of former EY teacher, Mr. Zirschky, current teachers Mrs. Reed and Mr. Evers changed the game plan to use touch sensors. As a result, we have two new challenges. The second year students are working on the Touch Sensor Racer Challenge which involves two students controlling a robot through a course using touch sensors. First year students are working on the Down and Back Challenge, and it involves programming a robot to travel a distance touch a target, turn around, and travel toward a target in a diagonal direction.
The final challenges will be on June 7th at 12:45 in the EY Gym. Parents and family are welcome to attend.