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Summer SAVY, Session 2 Day 1, Programming and Robotics (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Monday, June 17, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Welcome to Programming and Robotics! It was such a pleasure meeting our talented students; we have a wonderful week ahead of us. We established classroom rules as a community, divided into workgroups, and explored decision-making strategies. Today, we talked about evaluating decisions and learned to rank them (minor, moderate, and significant). As a class, we evaluated real-world scenarios/decisions and then discussed which merit discernment and which are best to decide quickly to keep projects moving. Rock-paper-scissors, anyone? 

Our young professionals were asked to form a company and put these new decision-making strategies to work. Each start-up chose its company name, created a slogan, and designed a logo that incorporated at least one element from the founders’ favorite things. During their “grand opening,” each workgroup shared how they chose their name and what each founder contributed to the decision. Our startups include Addabel, WAKA, Brobotics, Block Speed, Animal Candy, Work Space, Mar Computers, and Trees & Trinkets. 

This week, we will be using the LEGO Education App and LEGO SPIKE Prime robot kit for our hands-on activities. As part of our professional development, we completed a tutorial to become acquainted with the components: hub (“brain”); medium and large motors; and touch/force, color, ultrasonic, and gyro sensors. 

Our newly formed companies explored the nearly $130B toy market and then set to work creating their first prototype. Students brainstormed ideas for a new story-telling toy with four to six story events. Next, they created a program to communicate by assigning a sound for each event with a specific color. We used word blocks, a graphical drag-and-drop programming language, to explore programming data types, control flow statements, and conditional statements. We then used loops and if-else statements to provide a wider range of story options for our customers. 

At the end of the day, we built a dancing robot, which we will use tomorrow to learn how to synchronize motor movements to keep rhythm with lights and beats. 

Dinner table questions:

  • What three things make a robot?
  • What is a prototype?
  • How do manufacturers assign an age range to a product?
  • How is math used to create toys?
  • What does the future of toys look like?
  • How are toy companies working to make more sustainable solutions?  

We look forward to continuing learning and creating together tomorrow!