The LEGOs we are buying for our workshops are called "WeDO Education sets." These special sets combine building blocks, gears, motors and sensors. Icon-based programming software adds interactivity. The included curriculum pack encourages teamwork and the discussion of relevant STEM concepts. We are also purchasing laptop computers to run the software and video cameras to help the participants document the learning process.
Our workshops will act as a “prequel” to the LEGO Robotics Clubs that are popular in many schools. Generally, these clubs are limited to middle school students and only 10 students are allowed on each team. Our target audience comprises 2nd-5th grade students and will accommodate 15-20 students per workshop. In addition to exploring crucial STEM concepts, a student who attends our workshops will have gained valuable hands-on experience that can be applied directly to participation in the LEGO Robot competitions.
Here is a sample of one of the Education Kit projects:
Students will build and program a mechanical alligator that makes sounds and is motorized to open and close its jaw.
Trace the transmission of motion and transfer of energy through the machine. Identify the pulleys and belts and the slowing down mechanism at work in the model. Consider the needs of living animals.
Create a programmable model to demonstrate the knowledge and operation of digital tools and technological systems.
Build and test the alligator’s movement. Improve the alligator’s behavior by adding the motion sensor and programming sounds to coordinate with the movement.
Understand how the distance between an object and the motion sensor is important to how the sensor functions. Understand and use numbers to represent the type of sounds played and the amount of time the motor turns on.
Prepare and deliver a demonstration about alligators using the alligator model. Use technology to create and communicate ideas. Communicate in spoken or written forms using the appropriate vocabulary.
Belts, motion sensor, and pulley. Blocks: Motion Sensor Input, Motor On For, Motor This Way, Motor That Way, Number Input, Play Sound, Repeat, Start On Key Press and Wait For