It’s already that time of year! Students are building their training bots today and will start programming tasks this week and they will soon be exploring how to use light sensors. Stay tuned for more updates!
Today our students competed in the Line Follower Robotics Challenge. This was a particularly difficult challenge, and while all robots did not complete the course, each group has displayed excellent engineering and problem solving skills. We had several robots that completed the course in impressive times. The final results are as follows.
1st Place – Stewie (16.66 sec)
2nd Place- Dumbo (17.71 sec)
3rd Place – Alvin the Great (18.69 sec)
The robotics challenge, The Line Follower Challenge, will be on Wednesday, June 3 at 9:40-10:40 in the EY Gym. Our students have been furiously programming, designing, and redesigning their robots to successfully follow a line course using a light sensor. Parents are welcome to attend.
It’s that time of year again! We broke out the robotics kits this week and are excited to launch into some new STEM challenges. In the coming weeks our 4th and 5th graders will learn programming with NXT software, tackle mathematical challenges, and use light sensors to meet a challenge in a competition. Stay tuned for more!
Our robotics unit concluded with a very competitive pair of tournaments on Friday. The first year student tourney, The Down and Back Challenge, was full of drama and came down to a close finish between first and second place. The second year students’ tourney, Touch Sensor Racers, was equally as compelling and involved a tremendous amount of planning, coordination, and teamwork. The final results of this tourney were also very close. Congratulations to all participants for a job well done. Below are the final results and several pics-
Down and Back Challenge-
1st. “Willamena” (Ruth, Paige, Abbey)
2nd. “JJ” (Shelby, Lexie, Amanda)
3rd. “Robey” (Dani, Joy, Julia)
Touch Sensor Racers-
1st. “Turbo Slug” (Weston, Evan, Irvin)
2nd. “Bob the Annihilator” (Taylor, Nathan, Emily)
3rd. “The Terminator” (Brandon, Mason, Hunter)
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.
We are well underway with our robotics unit. Students first engaged in a science inquiry project with a coaster car. Using their data from their car, students completed a work sample which included describing the investigation, generating a hypothesis, displaying their data (graphing), and analyzing the results.
The second phase of robotics is learning programming. First year students are using our Lego RCX kits and second year students are using Lego NXT kits. Both kits are quite a bit different from each other in regard to parts, assembly, and programming. After learning the basics on how to program a robot, both groups are presented with a challenge of having their robots follow a black line course. We held a competition on Thursday and we were very impressed with our students’ programming, construction, cooperative work skills, effort, and attitude.
Next up, the Can Do challenges. Tune in soon.
See pics of Coaster Car and Line Follower Projects.