Storming Castles and Forming Friendships with Catapults, Robotics and Code #MakerEducation
Nice coverage of RPI’s Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education 2017 Robotics Camp from the Scientific American Blog.
The challenges were quite involved, requiring a suite of sensors to follow lines, avoid prohibited areas of the board, steer around obstacles, and aim projectiles. Phillip and Josiah (both 9) had particular trouble with getting their robot to travel along a squiggly path marked on the ground. “Oh man, we spent hours getting that to work,” Phillip said. But it was clear that the hours they spent were a point of pride, not embarrassment. When asked which parts they would pick out for future students to work with, many of the students named the parts that they personally had struggled with the most. Dylan (8) put it bluntly: “Because that part was really hard for us, and challenges are supposed to be hard.”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.