Towards the end of last term, both the Year 5s and Year 6s had their first taste of programming with the LEGO Mindstorms software. Their first challenge was to work out how to program their robots to move forwards and backwards; and how to measure distances with the units of seconds, degrees, and rotations.
The second part of the challenge was the robot drag race. Students had to program their robot to move forward, stop precisely on the line for one second, and then go backwards and stop precisely on the start line. As the videos below show – this wasn’t as easy as we thought!
Here are some of the highlights of our first Move Straight Challenge!
(If you’re subscribed by email, click the link at the bottom of the post to view the online version).
Oh, and as an aside, check out the new posters in our lab!
Last term, as an introduction to the new Iona Robotics program, the Year 6 students sought to answer the question – “What is a robot?”
The students chose a robot to investigate, exploring their component hardware and software, and how they can be programmed to perform certain tasks, sense their environment, and sometimes make autonomous decisions based on sensor input.
Over the past two weeks, our new Year 5 and 6 robotics teams have begun familiarising themselves with building with LEGO robotics components and the requirements of the FIRST LEGO League competition.
Our Year 5 team were tasked with building our first LEGO robots, which will be used to explore basic programming this term – focussing on moving forward and turning. The girls rapidly discovered that following LEGO build instructions wasn’t as easy as they had thought! Thankfully, we switched to the slightly less complicated design provided by Damien Kee! Lesson learned.
The Year 6s have started building the LEGO models for FLL Trash Trek, and spent last week inquiring into how robots work in the real world. We hope to share their presentations and findings next week.
In late 2015, Iona PS won a FIRST LEGO League Robotics grant from FIRST Australia, in partnership with Google. This grant has helped us to set up a small LEGO Robotics program for 2016, which will enable 18 upper primary girls to compete in the 2016 “Animal Allies” FLL competition.
The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is part of an international student robotics competition which focuses on high level problem solving, critical thinking, coding, and finding solutions to real world problems, such as natural disasters, trash, and aged care.
Mr Graffin, and the robotics girls, are looking forward to sharing their FLL adventure over the coming year!