Friday, January 26, 2018

Robotics AND Visual Art for Students: ORIGAMI ANIMALS

I found this item in my email in-box; sent to me by Sphero Edu...

Nice idea!!!... and to complete it, I've included some extra items below the video and text:
"Origami is a Japanese word meaning "fold paper." This program shows you how to mount animal origami creations on top of a Sphero and then play an animation that brings the animal to life. We've made three animations for you already: a bird, a whale, and a frog. In this program, we gave you the "animal" variable that lets you pick which animal you want to play. You can add more animals to the mix the same way, just don't forget to increment your animal numbers or you'll be trying to make whales move like cats... which is either weird or awesome. Fold away! #ThursdayLearnDay"

(See the above at its source: )

Easy Origami Crane Instructions: 

Origami Frog:

How to fold a very simple Origami Whale

Be sure to encourage and challenge your kids to inject some personal thought and creativity into their origami animal creations... a) how might they change the shape? b) what might they draw or paint or paste onto their origami animal to make it their own? c) what sort of paper might they find with which to fold their animal from that would make it their own, unique creation? ETC!

Extension 1: Have your students give their origami animal a name... write a story about it... etc.

Extension 2: Begin this activity with a bit of cultural learning. Have your students read or view some background info about Origami, its origins, and its cultural fit and significance. Ask THEM to explain it briefly in a group discussion, ETC! Below are just 2 of the thousands of items that explain Origami to be found on the web... why not search for some that would be 'just right' for the group of kids you work with?

Monday, January 22, 2018

FIRST Power Up / 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition

I came across this video through a link on the website of 2Train Robotics, an FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) oriented robotics team, from New York City's Morris High School Campus in Morrisania (Bronx) and Columbia Secondary School in Harlem.

This video is one of the ways that FIRST explains the objectives of its annual competition to prospective participant teams. If you are unfamiliar with robotics competitions (a sport of the mind) as a powerful STEM learning activity, this is a great place to start an eye-opening understanding.