I've been so busy between work, the upcoming holidays and
other things that I haven't had time to update the diary,
but finally, here it is:
We finally received our robot kits, parts and other
software and we have already had 3 meetings. At our first
meeting, we didn't have any of the kits, parts or software
so I had to improvise using my own materials. For the
other two meetings we were able to work normally.
I would say that the children are pretty excited and they
are a good group. After the first meeting, we decided to
extend the meeting time from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. This
will give us more time to work and try things out.
By the end of the second meeting (after we received our
parts), the children had made their first robots and
would've had them running all over the place except we
didn't have our batteries yet. All in good time I guess.
By the end of the third meeting, we had received our
batteries and we had programmed one of the robots to
actually do something like travel in a square - mastering
motor control and timers. We are using the basic tankbot
design because it is easy to build and travels fairly
In meeting four, we are going to take a look at sensors -
touch, light and rotation. Once we master those things
then the fun stuff will really begin. The children will
be turned loose to create a robot of their own design and
programming in order to solve a class-defined problem.
The children came up with some pretty interesting problems
and I look forward to seeing their solutions. We are
going to divide up into teams of 2 or 3 and go to work.
This program is so successful that the school has decided
to offer a robotics class as a special class during normal
school hours. I will need help from another parent or
teacher when that happens though because this is not a
paid position and I need to keep paying my bills.