To celebrate National Science Week we ran some robotics activities in the library each lunchtime. In our MakerSpace we have a number of different robots which we set up and used. Students manoeuvered the Lego EV3 robot and attempted to get it to shoot its missiles at a target. The Sphero and Sprk robots both had to be manipulated through a maze using an iPad or iPhone. We had long lines of students waiting to use the robots and even some of the staff came down to give it a try. We also set up a display on robots, highlighting some of our fiction and non-fiction titles.
I attended a great robotics day at Grace Lutheran College yesterday, run by Peter Kellett. Our school’s participating in the First Lego League this year so I went along to find out more about it and to have a look at some robotics resources that I’m considering purchasing for the library. We had to build a robot that would travel forward and pull a lever, releasing a package. The robot then had to transport the package back to its home base. There’s a lot of design, engineering and mathematical skills involved as well as a lot of trial and error. It was great fun and a fabulous learning opportunity for students.
Aaron from Osborne Technologies visited the school yesterday to speak to our P-5 staff about Romo the Robot. Romo is a visitor from outer space who the students have to help get around by programming him. He is controlled by an iPod or iPhone and responds to and interacts with students. Our P-5 teachers had fun playing with him and doing some basic programming. The library is looking at purchasing one to see how it goes and what we can do with it.
Nao, the humanoid robot, visited the school today along with Jonathan Kingsley from Brainary Interactive to speak to our Code Club kids and our library monitors as well as interested staff and a number of visiting principals. I’d seen Nao at the recent Edutech conference and he offers great opportunities for teaching students computer coding. Students can interact with Nao, teach him to play soccer or to dance, even speak to him in a foreign language. Nao can be programmed using simple drag and drop, block-based programming or more complex programming languages such as C++ or Python.