Wednesday, February 28, 2018

World's First Lego-Themed Elemenatary School Brick Makerspace

Great piece from THE Journal... 

The STEAM-Powered Elementary School: Montour Opens World's First Lego-Themed Brick Makerspace

Montour Elementary School's latest makerspace, the first of its kind powered by Lego Education, wasn't the school's first advanced, hands-on learning lab, and it won't be its last.

Montour Elementary students collaborate on designing and building cars, which they will then race down a custom track built by Montour High School students. That's just one set of hands-on activities in Montour Elementary's new Brick Makerspace, which formally opened Feb. 22. Montour Elementary students collaborate on designing and building cars, which they will then race down a custom track built by Montour High School students. That's just one set of hands-on activities in Montour Elementary's new Brick Makerspace, which formally opened Feb. 22.

Pennsylvania's Montour Elementary School stands out even among schools that have embraced STEAM education, the maker movement, hands-on learning and augmented and virtual reality. So when the K–4 school opened the world's first "Brick Makerspace" — a Lego Education-powered STEAM lab developed and implemented in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, Lego Education, parents, students and a local Barnes and Noble — it wasn't just a one-off affair; rather, it was yet another advance in the school's efforts to integrate principles of STEAM education throughout the curriculum.

 "I believe makerspaces and STEAM education get students interested in learning at a very young age," Jason Burik, co-principal at Montour Elementary, told THE Journal. "STEAM education challenges students to learn and apply content and skills with fun, real-life projects. Skills learned can later then be applied to almost any job. We wanted to create a unique learning space that kids would love coming to, something that no one else had, a room that would inspire students to become architects, engineers, designers, makers, and use problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We wanted a room that made students curious to learn and discover amazing things along the way."

The space, which formally opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Feb. 22, is themed on Lego bricks, with activities ranging from brick building to 3D printing to car racing to stop-motion animation to an interactive mixed reality system that lets students build structures and test their physical properties. Lego Education's WeDo 2.0, Lego MINDSTORMS Education EV3 and Lego Education Simple and Powered Machines are some of the tools employed in the space, along with the new Lego Education Maker activities.

Read the full article at its source:

Click on book cover for information

Click on book cover for information
Getting Started with LEGO Robotics. Anyone who works with kids can do LEGO Robotics, a rich and highly motivating platform for important STEM Learning! (surprisingly affordable, too) This books explains it all!

Robobo: Phone-Driven Robtics for Students

From this morning's In Box... a clever approach to Student Robotics!

Robobo is the next generation of educational robot. We have developed a mobile base that can hold a Smartphone, allowing to use state-of-the-art technology to carry out autonomous robotics projects in the classroom or at home. We have also developed a series of applications that allow you to program Robobo easily from any computer, and thus use all this technology. Read on for more details on the Robobo project.


Robobo creators come from research and university teaching in autonomous robotics. Our experience has allowed us to develop this new concept of educational robot focused on a fundamental idea: the robots that are currently used in robotics teaching are technologically limited, which separate them from being useful for a realistic practical learning. In addition, they get outdated very soon, requiring a continuous reinvestment. With Robobo, this problem disappears, because the smartphone always contains the latest technology, so if one becomes obsolete, it is enough to replace it with another one with greater capabilities. The Robobo base and the applications to program it will keep on working, which turns Robobo into a long-term educational tool.


The real goal of the Robobo Project is to advance in autonomous robotics learning. Thanks to the Smartphone's technology, with Robobo it is possible to use advanced capabilities such as vision, sound recognition, speech production, tactile interaction, etc. But autonomous robotics learning requires of suitable didactic material. For this reason, one of the main developments within the Robobo Project has been the creation of learning guides and teaching units, both for the teacher and the student, all made by university professors with extensive experience in robotics. For more information about the Robobo educational curriculum, you can access our website at the following link.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

From CES 2018 - Student Robots and STEM Resources

STUDENT STEM things... from the Consumer Electronics Show 2018

And below, a very nice piece sent by TechTerra... 

CES 2018 – TechTerra’s Takeaway

CES 2018 was a colossal event. And as exciting as promised. Over 180,000 attendees and over 4,000 vendors made for the show of the year. Our team spent hours exploring new edtech tools. From the 100% autonomous shuttle, pictured above, to Scrabble-playing robots to new coding tools to virtual and augmented reality and so much more, it was mind-opening as always to see and handle the new products and to talk with the developers.
Big picture

Our take-away from the show is that companies are getting better at figuring out how their tools can fit student needs for STEM. Block-based code was popping up across learning kits. Makeblock is using another popular code, flow programming with their new Neuron Kit, electronic programmable blocks. The Robotis humanoid robot allows students to 3D print robotic limbs and code for authentic STEM learning.
FROM the Recent Consumer Electronics Show....

AI and machine learning had the greatest presence across the event. The award winning tool, the best of STEM winner, went to the companion dog. We see this technology becoming mainstream in schools through robots and devices collecting information and then learning and responding like human beings. All of our daily lives will soon be impacted by AI and machine learning. Educators need to be ready for the impact.

See the original piece at its source: