In light of the lack of STEM and modern technologies training, such as Programming, Computer Architecture and other High-Tech areas, I would like to do my part by starting a weekly Robotics class.
Robotics is a combination of subjects that implements a wide range of advanced current technologies. It teaches skills in mechanical design, mathematics, physics, computer engineering and computer science. Besides these high-level topics, it also teaches personal skills such as complex problem-solving, decision making, goal setting, leadership and team dynamics. It prepares students to choose from a diverse range of highly-skilled fields later in life.
The program would meet on a weekly basis for educaction and practice in the ultimate goal of preparing for the yearly First Lego League robotics competition (http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll). This program introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-Base robots to complete tasks on difficult, thematic playing courses. This is the basic outline of the program:
*FLL competitions are held in the Fall. Therefore this program will be preparing for the competition in 2014.
The program will be organized around groups consisting of 4-5 students each. This teaches the students team dynamics (in a realistic way, team members who aren’t cooperative or performing will be handled separately) while keeping “cost per student per learning” ratio as efficient as possible. A typical day would go as follows:
(15-30 min) Students gather as one group and are lectured about the days topic. Lectures would:
Some days will be devoted entirely towards improving final robot designs. These days will be open workshops and will be free-form in structure where students can work with anything and receive whatever help they need.
A FLL robotics program requires a few things, mainly:
For competition in Fall 2014, these are also needed:
The best setup for both learning and price would be to have 1 robot per group of 4 kids. This would spread out the cost yet still allow every kid significant interaction time with them.