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Robots are taking over

Robotics Club Man

One of my robot action figures I have been making just for fun

. . . my time that is.

 

It’s been pretty dead on this site. I have been preoccupied mostly by robots. My other interests such as kayak fishing and writing witty and timely commentaries online have been neglected.

Robotics are at the intersection of my personal interests, business interests and volunteer work. I have been learning to build and program robots using Raspberry Pis and Arduinos and learning some of the associated programming languages. I had hoped to transfer some of this hard won knowledge to a hand full of students at a local elementary school by starting a robotics club. As it turned out the funding couldn’t be raised in the time frame needed to purchase the needed components.

Soooooo, we went to plan B. I found some projects online and adapted them to our needs. The goal was to teach some design, mechanical engineering and circuits while working on these projects. We would also learn some programming but it would be a separate effort and not part of the “robots” we built. I made a plan that I believed was workable and within budget. Now we just needed 12-15 interested 4th and 5th graders.

My partner in this effort is a friend of ours who teaches 5th grade Science at this school. She was fully on-board with getting the kids involved with engineering and programming. She suggested that there would be more than 12-15 students interested and thought 30 was a more realistic number. With attrition that number would probably fall to around 20. Sounds like a plan.

The flyer went home with the kids saying we were going to start a robotics club and there were 30 spots and not much else. One student returned 45 minutes later with his signed permission slip so he would get a spot. By 8:15 the next morning the 30 slots were filled. But there is a problem.

Two of the 4th grade teachers were not in their homerooms the day before and so their students didn’t get a chance to sign up for the club through no fault of their own. That wasn’t fair. Enrollment was open again. We now had 45 potential roboteers. The lesson plans I had developed which were a combination of teaching and doing weren’t’ going to work very well with so many people. Remember these plans were originally based on 12-15.

Sooooo, we went to plan C. This many people don’t fit well in any of the classrooms or labs. This many 9 and 10 year olds are loud! The teaching portions of the meetings were going to be greatly reduced we would spend most of our time “doing”.

To be continued

1 comment to Robots are taking over

  • Linda

    Well you can’t blame the 45 kids for wanting to do this…it is so cool! And I think your attrition will be close to zero! Can’t wait for the next segment…..