In order to create context for learning about robotics, I have teamed up with our science teacher as she takes these same students through the topic of natural disasters, and our need for early detection of when disasters occur.
Using the Hummingbird platform, students will be tasked to design and build an alert system for early warning using one of three different sensors; distance, light or temperature. The project is open-ended in that their early warning system can take whatever form they decide to design, as long as it accomplishes the goal of "Sense, Think, Act". Some students may decide to build a model in cardboard, while others will opt to 3D design and print components. It will be interesting to see where their imagination takes them.
I have broken this unit into the following stages:
1) Introduction to robotics - Google Slide Deck
In this initial stage, students are introduced to the concept of robotics and the different levels of robotic interaction. I break the interactive levels into three+ categories, with a focus on level 2 for our unit of study. See the slide deck above for more details about the levels of robotic interaction.
2) Hummingbird and CREATE Labs Visual Programmer - Google Slide Deck
Here students are introduced to the Hummingbird robotics platform and CREATE Labs software. We experiment with the creation of expressions and sequences using sensors.
3) Design, Build and Iterate
During this phase students can work alone or in pairs to create their disaster alert system. While continuing to work on the coding side of Hummingbird, they will also draw out initial designs for their system on paper. We will then move on to prototyping, building, testing and improving their new systems, integrating the Hummingbird board with materials of their choice.
4) Share what you have created
Once they have built, tested, modified and improved their new systems, they will share out their work to classmates, teachers and parents through SeeSaw.
We are currently in stage two of this process. In a future blog post, I will highlight our student projects as they near completion.