Robotics K – 6

The Networking Lounge Robotics K – 6

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      • Russell Cairns
        April 14, 2021 at 4:47 pm #18094
        The Networking Lounge | STEM Education

        Robotics K – 6

        Moderated by:
        Russell Cairns

        • Russell Cairns
          April 17, 2021 at 10:31 am #18286

          🙋🏻‍♂‍ Hi, think of this as your STEM robotics kiosk or your any-time key to the IT cupboard that most schools have stacked with digital technology collecting dust.

          🦸‍♀‍ You have been desperate to try something new with your class and Terms 2 and 3 are great times to get into robotics comps and challenges. Let’s make it as easy as we can with the teacher the facilitator and the students actually doing most of the work. C’mon and join the team making coding tangible and concrete, breaking down engineering stereotypes and teaching grit, perseverance and challenge.

          🤔 So ask me any questions, I’m not selling anything but am lucky enough (for now) to be teaching 900 k-6 students each week in a 55 seat maker space I help built.

          🤖 I am a disruptor, I’m not going to repeat the status quo, I believe in teaching through robotics and computational thinking. I believe classrooms should be filled with wonder, creative risk, and challenge and the school week should start with making challenges, learning through play, purposeful group work, and rich ICT integration.

          ✍ Head up your question – I’m thinking of…and tell me the stage or your idea and what you already have or what you need. It up to you to make it happen but with so many choices, we need activities that are effective, engaging, and efficient.

          👨🏻‍💻 Connect with me on Twitter @russellcairns1 and ask anything as the smartest people in the room are the room.

          More to come:
          why robotics, why not robotics?
          how to get started – purpose and age groups – what are the skills?
          build and learn with educational robots versus home ones?
          competing – solving challenges, designing solutions to problems, and writing algorithms
          sharing and collaborating – bring in your support crew and document the journey

          actually starting, funding, and securing – what are you going to do and when….umm NOW!
          budgets, mentors, coaches, meetings, mats charging and storage
          engineering, design thinking, coding and debugging, robot wranglers, testing, testing..
          Engineering journals, celebrating failure, and success.
          Gameday and beyond

            April 19, 2021 at 6:15 pm #18544

            Hi Russell,

            Thank you for starting this thread! As you know, I love robotics particularly in the early years. I think the skills that students develop through robotics – not only the practical skills of manouvering and handling a robot, but the skills of problem solving critical thinking, creativity, resilience and so forth – are crucial for our students.


            • Splat 3D (Design Nuts Pty Ltd)
              April 19, 2021 at 6:16 pm #18546

              Hi Russell,

              Great intro. So true about all the equipment collecting dust. Keep pushing our students, we need teachers that are focused on digital technologies, learning through play, inquiry and authentic integration.

              Ta, Kylie

              • Russell Cairns
                April 20, 2021 at 7:25 pm #18584

                General points to address

                1. Get robot kits
                2. Provide a physical space
                3. Enthusiastic staff
                4. Time
                5. Students
                6. Funding
                7. Continuum K to 12
                8. Exec and admin support

                ● Have robot kits VEX continuum, LEGO SPIKE/inventor with expansion Wedo with Discover kits, Sphero Bolt or RVR with terrain kits or mats, New Bot, Ranger or Codey Rocky, Dash, Dot or Cue with launcher, gripper and Geyer Mats, Edison or Micro:bit bots
                ● Provide a physical space – a robot creator space with lots of floor space or makerspace tables
                ● Enthusiastic staff – need to have male and female staff, reassure staff – they don’t need to know everything about robotics as the kids will often just pick up the coding, etc. themselves
                ● Time – need to allocate time for the club e.g. before or after school, at lunchtime, weekends (with competitions). Competing can take a lot of time.
                ● Students – usually start out with a small number of students and it will grow – it is essential to enter competitions and to keep having goals – a purpose for the group. You need to motivate students.
                ● Funding – sponsors – essential (their names go on the team competition shirts) for the funding of robot kits, big business not so helpful, medium-sized businesses usually most helpful and parents (and who they work for) are great resources.
                ● Continuum K to 12- take the group to work with primary students in feeder schools. It helps the high school students to see how far they have come with their understanding and it helps the primary school students to have role models to aim to be like. Look long term, not just to Year 9 and 10.
                ● Exec and admin support – it is essential for support from the executive, the front office, P&C, and most importantly the committees – science will say it’s STEM, STEM will say its Tech, School sport will just look at you blankly, Literacy and Numeracy will look at you like you are speaking another language, CAPA will see you as the enemy, Wellbeing will just sigh…..

                Team shirts & Logos: How to create a logo
                1. Choose online professionally designed logo templates, or ask students to create, but they must look professional.
                2. You may want to customize your logo with your team’s colors and your team name
                3. Download and share your finished logo – get a safe social account and hashtag
                4. Add your logo to emails and social media.create digital brochures, flyers, and more.
                5. Get a What’s App group and use Teams or Google Classroom

                For designing robot parts and creating a logo and promotional materials –
                ● Get laser cutter and 3D printed parts
                ● autoDesk Inventor
                ● AutoDesk Fusion 360
                ● Google Sketch Up

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