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Summer SAVY Session 1, Day 3 – Robotic Engineering

Posted by on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 3:  Engaging Creativity and Collaboration: Day 3 in the SAVY-Robotic Engineering Course 

Welcome to Day 3 of our exciting journey into the world of robotics. Throughout this week, we’ve witnessed an impressive display of creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork from our enthusiastic rising 5th and 6th graders. Today, the students explored movement and sensor programming. As we progress through the week, students continue to push the boundaries of their imagination, critical thinking, and problem-solving.  

Exploring Mechanics, Sensors, and Movement:  

We started the day with a “Getting to Know You” activity where campers presented their “All About Me” Robot Infographic. With this activity that kickstarts our mornings, we learn more about each other’s interests and future endeavors. This team-building activity in the mornings has contributed to a viable and positive learning community. Soon after, we started the semi-final round of our Hopper Bot races! You would be proud to see how fast the students’ Hopper Bots went. The championship featured a close race between two speedy bots! After a hard battle, the winner was declared!  

Continuing our theme of learning about mechanics and movement, students participated in the “Breaker Bot Challenge”. Within this challenge, students were given three tasks: sync the legs of the dancer, sync the arms, and program sound that syncs with the robot’s movement. After students were finished with the challenge, each student presented their robot and received positive peer feedback. We enjoyed a “Robot Dance Party” using our robots as the main dancer! I think we all danced until we increased our appetites just in time for lunch!  

Creative Design Challenges:  

In addition to technical challenges, Day 3 of the Spike Prime Lego Camp also fostered creativity through design tasks. The students were given an open-ended assignment: design and build a machine that would serve as a therapy robot for patients at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital. The criteria given was to create a friendly, approachable robot that performs a greeting function such as a fist bump or high five.

Students started the project by applying the engineering design process and creating amazing brainstorming sketches. After the brainstorming process, the construction of these “therapy bots” began.  

I was inspired to witness students’ dedication, determination, and problem-solving skills as they iterated on their designs, creating friendly bots that would brighten any sick patient’s day. This project encouraged critical thinking as the campers experimented with different coding techniques, such as loops and conditional statements. Collaborative efforts were on full display as students shared strategies and offered suggestions.  

Each student’s innovative ideas demonstrated the power of combining imagination and engineering. Throughout the design process, the students honed their teamwork skills by brainstorming, prototyping, and redesigning together. They learned the value of effective communication and compromise as they worked towards a common goal. As we move forward to the remaining days of the camp, we are excited to witness the growth and development of these young innovators. They have already demonstrated exceptional potential, and we can’t wait to see how their skills and creativity will continue to flourish. 

Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on new adventures in the world of robotics and coding!  

Ms. Young  

A few photos from the day: