'Robotics in Education' mailing list

This mailing list for teachers provides a forum for discussion into the issues facing robotics in the classroom. This list also provides a means to ask and answer questions from fellow teachers around the world.

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Classroom Ideas, Downloads and Resources generated from the Mailing List

Tip and tricks on how different teachers manage their LEGO robots in a classroom

STEM Robotics 101 - http://stemrobotics.cs.pdx.edu/node/291
An online resource developed by Portland State University for teaching STEM through the NXT Robotics platform. The site hosts significant curriculum for novice Robotics teachers and a customization/collaboration tool for veteran teachers.

 

Good Websites

  • kidsengineer.com - Great collection of classroom resources by John Heffernan
  • theNXTstep.com Blog - Focussed more on retail use, but still plenty of great ideas for the classroom
  • legoeducation.com - Great resources for Teachers
  • techbrick.com - A fantastic site full of information, tips and tricks for anyone competing in the FLL or JrFLL competition
  • nxtprograms.com - Dave Parker has huge number of different projects.  All building instructions included 
  • legoengineering.com - A collection of resources / lesson ideas etc from Tufts University.
  • DrGraene.net - Great collection of tutorials for the NXT
  • SABRE - Fantastic video tutorial on behaviour based robotics with NXT-G from Clinton Blackmore  (It's long, 45mins, but worth it!)

 

Robotics in education - eJournal

Click here to go to the archives of the Robotics in Education eJournal (2009 - 2010)

 

Do you have a great resource you'd like to share? Contact Me!

 

Why teach Robotics?

Robotics is fast becoming an integral part of the school curriculum with it's ability to integrate across a broad range of topics, most notably the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Areas.

Robotics encourages kids to think creatively, analyse situations and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to real world problems. Teamwork and co-operation are a cornerstone of any robotics project. Students learn it is acceptable to make mistakes, especially if it leads them to better solutions.

Robotics is a fun and engaging way to teach fundamental technology, maths and science concepts. There are several key facets that the teaching of robotics promotes:

  • Problem Analysis: Robotics encourages students to take a broad look at a situation and identify exactly what problem needs to be solved. Real world applications are easily found, giving students context for their project. Before any construction can begin, students must identify "what need will this robot fulfill?". With this in mind, how should the robot be designed to meet these need?
  • Real World Design: With an application in mind and an idea of implementation, students can now begin the design process. This stage provides great rewards for students as the as they produce physical realisations of conceptual ideas. There is plenty of opportunity for refinement and improvement as they discover errors in their plans and issues they would never have considered during the design stage. Prototypes are quickly built and just as quickly discarded with lessons learnt as students progress towards an optimal solution. Resources must be managed and compromise made between form, function and cost.
  • Programming: There are a variety of programming languages available for robotics, from graphical development environments to text based languages. Programming skills teach students to think logically and to consider multiple situations, as they learn a robot will do exactly as it is told, no more and no less. Information from a variety of sensors must be processed and dealt with logically and as with the design stage, there is ample opportunity for trial and error as students fine tune their robots to perform at their best.