Off to an impressive start, the new Primary School robotics club, aka the RoboLeopards, are on their way to mastering the fundamentals of coding with Academic Technologist Sam Moser. Their first engineering task is to construct and program an autonomous vehicle. Currently, they are experimenting with various sensors and motor arrangements and using a block-based programming language, which displays code as blocks in a drag-and-drop platform.
Students work in teams within the club, so each session, they practice compromising, learn the value of teamwork, and share successes. Together, students run experiments, make observations, and adjust variables to get closer to their goals. By using their senses to inform their next steps, students "experience the positive outcomes of trial and error," says Sam. When the students hit their zone, the creative energy in the room soars.
This hands-on exploration of robotics ties in many STEM disciplines, including mechanics, electronics, computer science, math, and technology. "By providing these examples and creating a contextual framework in which to learn," Sam says, "children acquire ownership of challenging STEM concepts." As the club advisor, Sam aims to help students connect robotics concepts with real-world examples so that they will walk away with a deeper understanding of how this technology impacts our daily lives.