Lesson 1-1

This post will be the first of a series that will tell what WeDo (:P) with our students in the first level. The course lasts 36 weeks, during which we will cover programming fundamentals and work following engineering design processes.

First contact

The first lesson will present the students the idea of a robot. Most of them think of robots as androids. Some of them would say that Mars rovers are robots. They all are sure that a robot must have at least one motor. But they are confused about the definition of 'robot' if I ask if a blender is a robot or not.

This is the moment when I explain that a robot must collect information from the environment and make decisions taking this information into account. I let that definition there because at this moment they can wait no longer and they have to build their first robot. After all, this is the reason why they all have come.

After this introduction, we start the project 'First steps' and build Milo, the rover. I already discussed how I encourage my students to collaborate and how we share the kits.

Once the rovers are built, it is time to program. First, we follow the provided instructions, until the students understand what they are doing. We also discuss the purpose of the following programming blocks:

At the end of the class, the students have time to customise the model and the program. First, they change the parameters, but later they change the behaviour of the rover, moving it a few seconds forward and a few seconds backwards, for example.

What students learn

In this class they learned, among other things:

  • How Engineering Design Process works. They build, test and improve the model.
  • Programming fundamentals. They create their own algorithms, and then they implement them with a simple programming language.
  • Basic mechanisms. How pulleys transfer motion.

It is a lot to process!

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.