Legos and robots combine learning and fun! | Community Spirit
SALISBURY - Students in Salisbury are taking part in a fun and unique learning experience this week.
Rita Foil of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools provided the story and the accompanying pictures:
The AIG Department for the Rowan Salisbury School System, is hosting 28 students, ranging in age from nine through twelve, in a unique camp experience this week – LEGO Robotics. The camp is being held at Horizons Unlimited.
Each day these 28 students, mostly boys with a few highly enthused and up-for-the-challenge girls, have taken the opportunity to work together in small groups creating a variety of individualized unique LEGO robotics, designed with fully functional components that move back and forth, wag tails, contain light sensors and some even have moving jaws that go “chomp!” At the end of the day, each group of students presents their creation in a competition to determine the best of the best.
Students experience robotics through a hands-on approach that enables them to design, create, construct and program their own robot made of LEGOs. Students use their robot creation to accomplish missions in a problem-based scenario where they must complete several tasks as they maneuver their robot through a maze-type game board.
A week long “LEGO Camp” is being offered to AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) students in the Rowan-Salisbury School System for one week during the summer on Monday through Thursday mornings. A different project is presented to the students each day. Upon dividing up into teams, the students in each group roll up their sleeves, determine the part each will play in the day’s creation, and start working - whether it may be the programmer, builder, controller, finder, etc. The students have become so excited and enthused with what they are learning and creating, many don’t even stop for breaks and snacks. They just keep right on working.
Yes, the enthusiasm and competition is high this week at Horizons…
An amazing awareness to observe was when one group of students mentioned that another group would most likely win because they “worked better together!” How insightful for a students of this age group to already learn and see the importance and the benefits of working together as a team.
Tuesday’s project was to build an alligator or “Robo Gator” - the jaws move on command when the student controlling the laptop makes the Robo Gator go “Chomp,” the tail moves and can follow a line drawn on the ground through a light sensor that has been installed in their creation. One student stated, “If it sees something walk in front of it, we can make it charge.” Another student stated, “I can make it ‘chomp’ at the enemy.” Yet another student said, “…Like Thomas Edison, we look at everything to find the right way to do it – to make sounds, chomp, program ultra sensors to determine distances…”
On Monday, students traveled to Concord Mills Mall to the LEGO Works store and were lead through demonstrations of creating LEGO robotics that would travel through obstacle courses. Wednesday’s project will be the “Color Sorter,” where students will make a creation capable of throwing balls at a target. Thursday’s project will be “Miniature Golf” – wonder who will win?
Yes, Horizons Unlimited has it going on this week for these elementary students. Engaging them in stretching their creativity through learning the importance of working together as a team!
Kelly Feimster is the district’s AIG director and Gina Durham is the lead AIG teacher for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
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