Sunday, February 26, 2017

21st Century MIddle School STEM Learning - Obstacle Course Robotics Challenge

"Do something, Sense something, Do something else!"

 The video below is one of a body of videos uploaded by teacher,
Ian Chow-Miller
of Frontier Middle School in Washington state. The students are 7th graders in his required Introduction to Robotics class.

I gave a very short introduction in how to use sensors with the ultrasonic and color sensor. I did not go very in-depth, just covered the basics and let them explore and figure out the rest on their own. I did have them memorize my mantra of "Do something, sense something, do something else." This helps them remember that you have to make a robot stop after the sensor sees a wall or a line. Too often they think seeing the wall is enough. They forget to remember the robot is human and can only follow exact orders.

When we begin I have the tables set up. They are whiteboards so that taking notes on the table is easy.

I use colored electrical tape, a few megablocks and that's it. Students have to start on one end and their grade is determined by how far they get and how many sensors they use.

I have a "wall" for the ultrasonic sensor, red and yellow tape for the color sensor, a drop-off where they can use the color sensor in reflective light mode, several turns where they can use the gyro, and at the end they have to stop on the third of three green lines. This adds an extra challenge if they've already figured out stopping on a color. Finally if they finish, they had to use the medium motor to make an attachment that could knock the final block off. 

Though I gave many hints, I didn't initially tell the students which sensors to use where, I had them figure it out as they went along. In three class periods, most students got up to or completed the third green line.

As a bonus I had students document their work with the iPads and then edit together a movie about the process from beginning to end."


@coachchowmiller on twitter and Instagram

Here's a link to the playlist (Ian’s Robotics Class Videos): 

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