Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lego Robotics

I had an incredible day with students. As part of the Flynn Elementary School Inquiry Fair, I teamed up with Amy Truchon and Nina Madore to offer a workshop on Lego Robotics. We’d borrowed 8 brand new kits from Professor Tim Whiteford of Saint Michael’s College, opened the boxes and played around with them just recently.

We used both Lego WEDO and Lego Mindstorms kits. I had only taken them out of the box and dabbled a teeny bit, so I was experimenting along with the students. Kids built alligators that chomp your finger if you move it close enough, kicking soccer players and goalies, tweeting birds, and more. My afternoon Mindstorms duo programmed a car to drive until it got close to a wall or other obstacle, stop, back up, change direction, make a fiendish laughing sound, then start driving again.

Students didn’t want to leave at the end of the workshop to go to lunch or home. They were having too much fun. I highly recommend these for school or home. In the end, what they are learning is software and hardware engineering, a very relevant set of skills in these times.