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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Robotic Engineering...It's aMAZEing!

A few weeks ago we had a demonstration of robotic engineering. Let me tell you, engagement was high!! Scholars couldn't wait to begin programming this little robot.

After a brief introduction to the Roamer Robot, a design challenge was issued.

Following the challenge there were a lot of questions so we created a 'Knows and Need to Knows' chart.

Once this chart was developed I had a blueprint to help guide our lessons. We began by studying mazes through pictures and by actually completing some paper mazes. 

We 'played' with some maze apps. Our favorite maze apps were Dino Maze, Mouse Maze and Labyrinth...all free:)

After learning everything we could about mazes, we developed a list of maze attributes, or criteria,  that would guide our maze planning.

Scholars were very excited as they worked with partners to begin designing a maze that could become the plan for our class maze for the Roamer. They used Wiki-Sticks and poster board to create their plans.

When the plans were finished, we reviewed each one as a class to determine if the maze met the criteria or failed to meet the criteria. Ultimately, 5 mazes met the criteria. So, we discussed to pros and cons of each maze and the decision was put to a vote.  Ultimately, this maze was selected to be our class maze for the Roamer. 

...and here is the larger version.

We learned about coding and practiced coding skills using the iPad apps: Bee-Bot, Daisy the Dinosaur, Tynker, and Kodable.

Next, it was time to program the Roamer!

We actually spent two full class periods improving our coding until finally Roamer successfully made it through the maze! 

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