Wednesday, July 13, 2016

RobotsLAB. A big step forward in Teaching With Robots...

Just came across these videos. This seems to me to be a big step forward in bringing Student Robotics into the Math curriculum.



Listen to this teacher explain how she sees the connection between learning Math and Robotics... I think she's got it!




More to come in the future, I'm sure, on this group and its approach to making robotics part of learning in our schools...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Duval School District to engage students in FIRST LEGO League and Crucial STEM Learning!

Great article from http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2016-07-05/story/duval-schools-look-legos-expand-interest-science-spark-imagination  But please, "Playing with LEGOs?" C'mon! Those kids will be LEARNING!!! Way to go, Superintendent Vitti!

Duval Schools look to Legos to expand interest in science, spark imagination

50 schools to be involved


The Bolt Bots team from Columbia City Elementary School in Lake City and their supporters react as their robot completes a task during the FIRST Lego League Regional Championship held in January in Jacksonville. The Duval School Board will vote on whether to expand such Lego clubs in area schools this month.
The Bolt Bots team from Columbia City Elementary School in Lake City and their supporters react as their robot completes a task during the FIRST Lego League Regional Championship held in January in Jacksonville. The Duval School Board will vote on whether to expand such Lego clubs in area schools this month.

Benjamin Wright, 11, aims his team's robot during a FIRST Lego League Regional Championship in January.

Duval students in 50 schools will be playing next year with Legos, with School Board approval.


Along the way they’ll learn about math, computer coding, engineering, problem-solving and teamwork, organizers said.


It’s part of a proposal Duval’s School Board is expected to vote on this month.


Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has proposed spending $187,700 to set up Lego robotics teams in 50 schools, an increase from the 36 schools currently operating such clubs.


The long-term vision, said Mason Davis, assistant superintendent, is to have robotics teams in all 161 Duval public schools. He said the mostly extra curricular activity will spark students’ engagement in technology fields and hopefully get them more involved in math, science and computers in class.


Vitti said Duval’s investment will be unprecedented among large, urban school districts.


“We are setting a trend as a large urban school district to have this many schools participating in FIRST Lego League,” Vitti said.


That claim could not be verified by FIRST Lego officials Friday.


Vitti wants the school district to work with Renaissance Jax, a nonprofit Lego League affiliate partner for FIRST, the national nonprofit entity which organizes thousands of robotics and technology competitions around the country, involving teams from kindergarten through 12th grade.


FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”



“This is going to be the first proposal where a school district contracts for the growth and management of their FIRST robotics teams to a FIRST affiliate partner,” said Mark McCombs, head of Renaissance Jax, which already runs dozens of FIRST Lego teams and events in 20 Florida counties.


The contract would involve training teachers and volunteers to run the teams and coordinating practices and qualifying competitions.


In 2011, Renaissance Jax had 14 teams and no tournament. It had 220 teams last year totaling 1,100 students who competed in tournaments at the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.


Legos are plastic bricks of various colors and size that can be combined to build things.



Lego also makes parts and kits that robotics teams use to build programmable robots for team competitions, including the FIRST Lego League tourneys.

Lego touts the robotics teams and competitions as having important educational benefits.


Team surveys show that 86 percent of participants say they are more interested in doing well at school, 84 percent are motivated to take challenging math and science courses, and 80 percent are more interested in STEM-related jobs.


The gender gap in science and technology isn’t evident at the tournaments, McCombs said. About half the competitors last year were boys and half were girls.


“They are learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math education) and finding out that they are way more capable than the adults around them have told them they are,” McCombs said....

Read the full article at its source: 

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2016-07-05/story/duval-schools-look-legos-expand-interest-science-spark-imagination

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This wall-climbing robot will teach kids to code!



"Can a wall-climbing robot teach your kid to code?

 Last month, a few hand-sized, hexagonal robots took over a third-grade classroom in Southborough, Massachusetts. They climbed a whiteboard and drew all over it while flashing multicolored LEDs and chirping musically.  All the while, they were teaching kids to code.


Meet Root  — a robot being beta-tested by its creators at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The Wyss team hopes Root will soon roll into the gap between the growing enthusiasm for K-12 computer science and the lack of qualified teachers.  With Root’s help, they claim, any teacher can become a computer






“Root’s job is to celebrate the code you create by bringing it to life,” said Justin Werfel, a senior research scientist at Wyss. Root magnetically clings to whiteboards (most of which are metal-backed) where it acts out programs that students compose on iPads that are wirelessly linked to the robot.
Unlike other educational robots — such as Bee-Bots, Dash & Dot, and Lego Mindstorms — that are geared to a specific age range, Root is meant to span from pre-kindergarten to college. With black sides and a plain white top crossed with LEDs, Root is deliberately un-cuddly and unadorned — a highly functional, sensor-packed box that can draw with a marker inserted in its middle.





Friday, June 10, 2016

Robot that will fold, press and ‘perfume’ your laundry set to invade households in 2018


SEE IT: Robot that will fold, press and ‘perfume’ your laundry set to invade households in 2018

A space-age appliance straight out of “The Jetsons” could lighten the load of the laundry-weary masses.
FoldiMate, a California-based startup is looking to sell a solution to a first world problem for a first world price.


The robot, slated to cost between $700 to $850, has the sole purpose of folding laundry twice as fast as the average human could.


Additionally it is able to “de-wrinkle” pants and dress shirts with steam and it also “perfumes” them as it goes, according to the commercial.


A space-age appliance straight out of “The Jetsons” could lighten the load of the laundry-weary masses.
FoldiMate, a California-based startup is looking to sell a solution to a first world problem for a first world price.


FoldiMate takes ten seconds to fold, steam and perfume your laundry.

Apparently folding laundry is a tedious enough task that the FoldiMate has started to generate interest among those who truly despise basic household chores.
Its commercial on YouTube, posted less than a month ago, has nearly 2 million views and almost 2,000 likes.


According to FoldiMate’s website, more than 65,000 people have registered to be notified when preorders begin.

Read the full article at its source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robot-fold-laundry-set-invade-2018-article-1.2664280 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Genius 12-Year-Old Dominican Boy Makes Robotic Toys Out of Cardboard Boxes"

Inspiring! STEM Brilliance in the midst of poverty!



"Genius 12-Year-Old Dominican Boy Makes Robotic Toys Out of Cardboard Boxes


When he was collecting cardboard boxes, Jasuel Rivera’s grandmother thought he was just making a mess. And like any Dominican matriarch she asked him about “ese reguero.” Jasuel, 12, tinkered with the boxes until eventually he was building robotic toys powered by things like syringes.


According to Zona5, Jasuel’s family is not able to buy him the toys he wants, so he took to the Internet and books to learn how to create his own. Now, he has 12, including a functional semi truck, trailer, and other equipment you might find at a construction site that are all made out of recycled materials. “I didn’t have money to buy one, but I saw one like this on the Internet, so I made my own,” he said. “I liked it, so I kept on doing it.”


He has been very influenced by mathematician Blaise Pascal’s law on fluid mechanics, which he can better explain than me. Pascal’s law led him to trying different liquids to power his toys. In the end, he said water was the best choice."


 See the full article at its source: http://remezcla.com/culture/genius-12-year-old-dominican-boy-makes-robotic-toys/