Robotics Class at West Tisbury School

BY Laura Edelman 

West Tisbury School 

Project Description

The funding from this grant would pay for the purchase of a second EV3Core Set Robotics Kit for my new Robotics elective class. This kit includes enough material for 4 students. I was awarded a grant for one kit last year, but I would like to get 3 more kits so all students in my class will have access. With this kit, students can: -Design and build programmable robots using motors, sensors, gears, wheels and axles, and other technical components. -Understand and interpret two-dimensional drawings to create three-dimensional models. – Build, test, troubleshoot and revise designs to improve robot performance. – Gain practical, hands-on experience using mathematical concepts such as estimating and measuring distance, time and speed. – Communicate effectively using scientific and technical language. I teach all students in grades 4 through 8 and I use the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which include more advanced Science and Technology, such as Robotics. I have taken the EV3 Professional Development Online Course through the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy which included 36 hours of instruction in EV3 Robotics content and pedagogy. I am now a Robotics Academy Certified Instructor. This second EV3 kit would allow me to build my Robotics course, as currently I only have one kit which is for 3-4 students. I will ultimately need 3 more kits to have all materials for a full course. I am currently looking at other funding sources for these.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

I will evaluate this project (a new Robotics course) by student interest level, and by Standards based assessments. This is a new course at the West Tisbury School, which has been very well received by students so far, though we need more EV3 kits to have enough materials. Currently students have to share one kit but they are very motivated and excited by this new course. Some of the Engineering Standards I am teaching through this course are: -Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution. -Create visual representations of solutions to a design problem. Accurately interpret and apply scale and proportion to visual representations. -Analyze the shape, form, size and materials of a designed object to infer the function for which it was designed. -Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a model or prototype of a solution to a given design problem. These are just a few of the many new Standards that we will be teaching next year. The Lego Robotics Kit would allow me to meet these Standards and help our students succeed.

Benefit to the students and the school

Having a Robotics Course at the West Tisbury School does not just benefit the students and the school, but the entire community. The course benefits students who will become more literate in STEM and will become more familiar with what is expected in the new Standards. This course also benefits those students who may be kinesthetic learners. Science and Technology are extremely popular with today’s youth; they are also a pathway to career opportunities in the future. Engaging in technology activities when young can help to stimulate interest in those fields, develop mastery of necessary technologies and energize the classroom. Students of all ages enjoy hands – on construction activities, so that aspect of robotics is accessible across the board; further, abilities in this area vary widely within an age group, which allows individuals to achieve mastery and demonstrate competence. This course in Robotics at the West Tisbury School benefits the community and parents by allowing us to hold a STEM night on campus, where students showcase their work. This will now be an annual event for the West Tisbury School community and boosts the confidence of our students. We are a very small school located on an island, without easy access to the mainland. This course adds to the elective courses offered at our school and brings some excitement for learning to the students. Students are very excited by this course, we just need more kits to allow all students access to the material.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

I have been trained in the use of this kit last year, and I have started my Robotics course already. But my class only has one EV3 kit for 3-4 students and I need 3 more kits (at least) to have a full class set, so all students can have access. This course is in progress now, so I would need this new EV3 kit as soon as possible.