We are delighted with our new Photon Robots. Our School Excellence – Digital cluster has received the first of these robots to Ireland. Logical thinking ability is becoming an increasingly important skill and we know that children love to learn by experimenting. Photon gives children programming related challenges that allow them to develop their logical thinking ability while having great fun.
As the world grows more technologically complex, computer science and computational thinking are becoming even more crucial fundamentals for students to learn. Since you can physically see the results of your coding exercises, robots offer a uniquely engaging format for learning these concepts. By its nature, the study of robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM while also encouraging teamwork, problem solving, and leadership for our students
There’s a lot of learning theory that says that experiential learning is very beneficial to children as it gives them concrete experiences to connect with the more abstract, theoretical STEM concepts. Making attempts that don’t work—and figuring out why they didn’t—is a crucial part of the learning process. When children are learning through testing and troubleshooting, they’re developing a sense of confidence that it’s OK if it doesn’t work the first time.
One of the main features of robots and coding is the collaboration between the children – watch the video below and imagine the conversations. “How did you do that?” “How do I fix this?” “Look at this” “If you change that around it might work” “you need to put in a decimal point there”. All the children are engaged with their learning and collaborating with each other
We were delighted to start exploring our latest robotic and coding kits – EV3 Mindstorms. The older children have started building Sumo Bots using their EV3 robotics kits. There is quite a bit of research involved in both the design and coding of a Sumo Bot. Each Sumo Bot is coded before competition – they are not remote controlled. The first challenge was to code the Sumo Bots to recognise the boundary line of the arena – using a colour sensor, reverse away from it and change direction. The next step will be to code our Sumo Bots to seek an opponent, using a motion sensor and to drive towards that opponent. The children are having great fun working on different coding ideas and robot designs to create the ultimate Sumo Bot.
Scratch programming allows children to bring their creations to life through animation. Creating is a huge part of future-focused education. Scratch programming gives children the opportunity to become digital creators.