Engaging with Robots in a fun way

Author: Angele Giuliano
Summary of the Activity Plan

These were workshops run with students whose age was between 11 - 13 years, and, at secondary level. The robots used were Dash and Dot although the practical aspects were explored with Dash. Dash is a pre-constructed robot and activities focused around programming Dash through commands and loop statements. Another objective was explaining to students that when searching for a solution programming gives you the advantage of finding multiple answers to activities, and, that some solutions are simpler and more straightforward than others. These sessions were run between March and May 2017 and during each workshop the tutors reflected with the students about group work and collaboration; a worksheet (Annex 2 ) was also assigned to students to gather feedback about this. STEM careers and gender in science were topics discussed during workshops. Another topic discussed with students was about success, failure and resilience. These factors were presented to students in an employment context where perseverance, personal initiative and drive are key factors. The students recounted their experience of how successful/unsuccessful they were during the workshop activities by describing this in a diary post (Annex 3).

Type of Activity: Workshop Curriculum Aligned: Not aligned
Subject:
  • Information Technology
  • Maths
Curriculum and Country: Malta
Language: English
Domains
Science: 1
Business: 1
Technology: 1
Engineering: 1
Mathematics: 1
Arts: 1
Societal Issues: 0
Life Skills: 0
OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS

Subject Related:

- Data analysis, Probability

Skills Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to learn how to program Dash using Drag and Drop visuals via tablets. Further, they will understand that in programming multiple answers can lead to a solution.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    ARTIFACTS

    Digital artifacts: Drag and drop visuals

    Robotic artifacts: Drag and drop visuals

    WHO? WHERE? HOW LONG?

    Gender: both

    Age Group: 11 - 13 Years

    Class Size: large

    (Ideal) Group Size: 2

    (Ideal) Grouping Suggestions: ability

    Special needs and abilities:

    Environment: lab,openspace,hall,classroom,indoor

    Style of room: Large Space - classroom or laboratory or hall bare of chairs and tables. Children were seating on the floor.

    Sessions: 2

    Session Duration: 4h00

    Total Duration: 8h00

    INTERACTIONS

    Actions:

    • Exchange ideas
    • Dialogue

    Relationships:

    • Collaborative
    • Competitive

    Roles in the group:

    • Role exchange in the group

    Support by the tutor(s):

    • Monitor
    • Facilitate
    TECHNOLOGY
    Technology Used:
    • Dash & Dot
    • Robotic Dreams
    • MOSS
    • LEGO Mindstorms

    Price per Kit: €151 - €300

    Technology Needed: Tablet/Mobile

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    Teaching Methods:

    No Teaching Methods
    HOW TO
    Resilience with finding multiple answers to a situation
    Description: You were asked to find solutions to make Dash behave as a soldier and as a Lottery drawer. In arriving to these solutions you may have been successful or you may have failed (completely or partially). Describe your experience by writing a diary post. Imagine you own a diary and you are going to share your feelings with it. Dear Diary, Today, at school, I was involved in workshops using Dash. This robot played two roles: being a soldier in a war zone and a Lottery Drawer at the Lottery Department. I worked in a team. The most challenging moment in working as a team was ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I learned from my team members that: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ An idea I hesitated to share with my team was _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________. I (succeeded/failed) ___________________________________________________________ to solve (one/both/none)___________ of these puzzles. When I (failed/succeeded) to find an answer or answers I felt: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As the friend with whom I share all my secrets, I wish to tell you that my feelings and attitude today following this workshop are: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Duration: 15 minutes
    Type: Reflection
    Orchestration:
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related: Data analysis, Probability
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to learn how to program Dash using Drag and Drop visuals via tablets. Further, they will understand that in programming multiple answers can lead to a solution.
    ASSESSMENTS

    Resilience with finding multiple answers to a situation: You were asked to find solutions to make Dash behave as a soldier and as a Lottery drawer. In arriving to these solutions you may have been successful or you may have failed (completely or partially). Describe your experience by writing a diary post. Imagine you own a diary and you are going to share your feelings with it. Dear Diary, Today, at school, I was involved in workshops using Dash. This robot played two roles: being a soldier in a war zone and a Lottery Drawer at the Lottery Department. I worked in a team. The most challenging moment in working as a team was ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I learned from my team members that: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ An idea I hesitated to share with my team was _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________. I (succeeded/failed) ___________________________________________________________ to solve (one/both/none)___________ of these puzzles. When I (failed/succeeded) to find an answer or answers I felt: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As the friend with whom I share all my secrets, I wish to tell you that my feelings and attitude today following this workshop are: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ATTACHMENTS / SUPPORTING MATERIALS
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    Author: Angele Giuliano
    Where does this fit in the ER4STEM Framework?