Oops I did it again!

Posted by Debby on 3rd November and posted in Class Lego Project, Cultivating Communities, Teaching and Learning

Had one of those out-of-body experiences again today. I was marginally engaged in the advisory board meeting and then it was my turn. I wanted to keep it brief because I wanted to get out of there soon. I started off quietly… but then I mentioned “purposeful play” and soon “hard fun” came out of my mouth… then I started talking about the learning community that is developing with robotics as a catalyst for all sorts of good things… I mentioned problem solving, critical thinking, active learning… before I knew it, there was no turning back. I had their full and undivided attention as I talked about the amazing things my students are doing and what real life applications in the “real” world came out of it. I talked about what it means to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate… and how doing that in the “traditional” school setting means the dreaded C-word – cheating! Not here, I told them. Here that means they are learning how to work in a real world environment because that’s how REAL programmers and scientists and engineers work. They are becoming self-motivated problem-solvers actively engaged in their own learning process. Cool, eh?

The stars of the show came in and I played the video that Alex had made last semester. Then Josh held up Joe’s RCX Bottle-Bot and talked about what that challenge was all about. He talked about the brick and programming, and what applications it had in real life. Fancy that… and I didn’t even prompt him! Then Bill talked about the final project and showed one of his machines, complete with a pully system, rear axel differential and a front wheel steering mechanism. I asked them all to say how old they were and the range was 14 to 31. Gave me an opportunity to talk about mentoring and again, that real world thing. The whole demonstration lasted about 15 minutes, but everyone in the room was impressed. My dept chair even sent me an email later on with the short but sweet message “Your robotics demonstration and group of students were outstanding today. Thanks!”.

There’s something about those little yellow bricks. It might not be magic, but it’s awfully darned close!

Comments are closed

Powered By Wordpress || Designed By @ridgey28