Archive for the ‘STEM’ tag
We are at the 2014 PLTW Summit in Indianapolis this week! Stop by our booth to say hi and ask us questions.
We also have our latest iPad app, Robot Virtual Worlds Expedition Atlantis, available to try out.
And there is a ROBOTC Maze Challenge where you can program a VEX IQ robot using ROBOTC Graphical.
We look forward to seeing everyone!
Expedition Atlantis immerses you in a world of underwater robotics exploration, where you must solve math problems to control your robot’s movement in the deep seas ruins.
The math problems will help students understand proportional relationships and the basics of robot programming. It is designed for the student to learn as they play, and includes in-game tutorials to help them play along. As you play, you’ll be able to customize your robot, and also earn achievements through our Computer Science Student Network (CS2N). A full teacher’s guide for using Expedition Atlantis in the classroom is available at www.robotvirtualworlds.com/ipad.
Expedition Atlantis was tested in a number of diverse classroom settings. In every case, students had measurable gains in proportional understanding, as well as increased interest in math and robotics. Read more about the research here!
Check out our gameplay video here …
As you play along with the app, please send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’d love to know what you think and any improvements we can make.
We are very excited to announce the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge! This challenge is part of an ongoing research project by Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy and the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center designed to assist robotics teams learning to program.
Participating students will learn programming that enables them to solve this year’s VEX IQ Virtual Highrise Challenge. As they learn they will also earn an Introduction to Robotics and Programming Certification.
Robomatter, Inc. will be working closely with the Robotics Academy to create high quality STEM learning experiences, and has agreed to provide access to all related materials FOR FREE this competition season …
- This year’s Virtual HighRise Challenge Game
- Programming Curriculum to help you learn to program
- A live online course to help guide you through the curriculum
- Free ROBOTC and Robot Virtual Worlds Software for active participants
- Digital Certification for students who complete the course and challenge
The first online training course starts October 16th, but you will receive access to the software, the virtual worlds, and the curriculum immediately when you register to participate. In order to solicit responses to our research questions the ROBOTC and Robot Virtual World licenses are time limited, they will last until November 15, or if your students actively participate by working your way through the programming challenges you will have the license extended until April 2015.
To access these resources and find out more go to the VEX IQ Virtual Challenge page: www.robotc.net/vexiq
We hope that you participate in this project. If you have additional questions please send them to email@example.com
Only two more weeks until our Fall LEGO online trainings start. Register for the LEGO TETRIX and/or the EV3 classes today! Enjoy the convenience of taking Robotics Academy courses without leaving your own computer workstation.
Benefits of our Online Training:
- Assisted training using provided hardware and software
- Screen sharing amongst the class
- Networking opportunities with other professional educators
- Robotics Academy Certification for “Graduates”
EV3 Online Professional Development
Oct 15th – Nov 19th, 2014
Wednesdays for 6 Weeks
6-8:00pm EST (3-5:00pm PST)
* Graduates Earn a Robotics Academy Certification!
FREE!! ROBOTC for EV3 Webinars
Oct 14th – Nov 18th, 2014
Tuesdays for 6 Weeks
7-7:45pm EST (4-4:45pm PST)
ROBOTC Online Training for LEGO / TETRIX
Oct 16th – Nov 20th, 2014
Thursdays for 6 Weeks
6-8:00pm EST (3-5:00pm PST)
* Graduates Earn a Robotics Academy Certification!
China Daily Europe recently interviewed Terry Sy, executive director of China ROBOTC, about robotics education. Check out the article below!
They are here to teach, not to steal your job
Education using robots promotes employment, says licensee for top US training system
The widely held belief that robots cost jobs is a fallacy, a robotics expert says.
Terry Sy, executive director of China ROBOTC, the only organization authorized in China to promote what is considered one of the world’s premier robotics education systems, says: “Many parents have asked me about the future of robots. I tell them that if they want their children never to face unemployment, let them do something related to robots.”
ROBOTC was developed at the Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University, the global research university, based in Pittsburgh.
It supports several different robotics platforms and features a variety of functions, including tips and tools for educators and parents on using robotics to teach children about math, science, engineering and physics.
Sy established China ROBOTC in Xi’an, northwestern China, which is considered the center of China’s aerospace, controls and automation market – the perfect location, arguably, to attract the kind of modern young minds who might consider a career in robotics.
“The people who make, apply and repair robots and who teach about robots will always be needed in future.”
Speaking at the recent China International Robot Show in Shanghai, Sy said he felt strongly that Carnegie Mellon’s programs and systems will be a huge benefit to the teaching of robotics in China, and will help narrow the knowledge gap that exists between Chinese and Western students.
The ROBOTC programming language has already been translated into 15 languages and used in more than 40 countries.
In the US alone, more than 300 colleges and 10,000 primary and secondary schools are using its curriculum, Sy says.
ROBOTC is a programming language that uses what is considered an easy-to-use development environment that supports several of the simplest and most commonly used different robotics platforms, including LEGO, VEX PIC, Cortex and Arduino.
It contains firmware that boosts performance and greatly improves program download times, its developers say.
It also features an interactive, run-time debugger, which helps developers find and fix bugs in programs, allowing them to view and edit all of the values that the robot sees – motors, timers, sensors and variables – and quickly pinpoint and troubleshoot problems in programs, greatly reducing the time it takes to develop a program.
“It is easy enough for primary students to learn, but also satisfies the needs of programming experts,” Sy says.
He had the idea of bringing the system to China in 2012, when he was in Beijing attending a national seminar on physical robots, on behalf of the Carnegie Robotics Academy.
At least 20 Chinese universities were at the event, and he found that many wanted to set up robot courses, but did not have qualified teachers, professional textbooks or robot platforms, let alone know how to run courses.
“Chinese students are very good at showing off innovative technologies in competitions, but China doesn’t have a good robot education system,” he says.
He adds the biggest defect in China’s robot education system, however, is that students are not taught how to program and just use existing written codes, which are not enough to develop their own talent further, so he decided to bring ROBOTC to China.
“ROBOTC language can support the world’s biggest robot platforms. It can help children become more innovative, and college students and workers gain more technical skills,” he says.
He chose Xi’an as it was less expensive and crowded than Beijing or Shanghai, but also because the region boasts about 60 universities.
He is now looking for a subsidiary in Shanghai, and more outlets are planned in other cities.
His plan is to increase collaboration with universities and schools by setting up robots in college laboratories.
So far two universities and several primary schools have adopted the system, and the goal is to bring it to 100 colleges, 100 middle schools and 100 primary schools, providing specialist robot training for teachers and technicians.
It is planned to offer training online, so the language can also be brought to people in remote villages or locations that do not have the resources to support robot education.
Sy is confident that despite robots still being a novelty to many in China, their use is set to grow fast.
In 2011, US President Barack Obama decided to give greater priority to the use of robotics in teaching the vital fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and Sy believes it is now important for China to move in that direction.
“That is why we want to bring this kind of robot education to as many parts of China as we can, to make it part of the Chinese education system. This training will definitely help people become more logical and confident.”
Check out some photos from their very first VEX Training in Xi’an, China!
We were delighted to hear about an inaugural weeklong robotics summer camp happening in North Carolina that is using ROBOTC, ROBOTC Graphical, and the VEX Robotics IQ system to help teach students STEM while keeping them connected to their military families. (One of the mentors was trained at the Robotics Academy last summer too!) Read the story and watch the video highlighting this program below!
Reblog from East Carolina University’s News Service
ECU partners in Operation LINK mentoring program
Ten-year-old Tyrrek Grizzle took control of his paddle, maneuvering his miniature land mover with ease.
He and a teammate moved his robot across a grid and past an opponent to pick up as many green-colored blocks as possible and dump them in a coordinating green basket. The team that filled the basket with the most blocks in the three-minute competition won.
Grizzle attended an inaugural weeklong robotics summer camp through Operation LINK, an AmeriCorps school-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics mentoring program for elementary and middle grades students in eastern North Carolina. The STEM program, with a special emphasis on students from military families, will transition from an afterschool program to part of the regular school day this fall.
Offered this spring in Wayne County, the program aims to promote positive behaviors and success in school while keeping military youth connected to family. It’s a partnership between East Carolina University, AmeriCorps, military family support networks, veterans groups, community colleges and public schools.
The summer camp, held at Greenwood Middle School in Goldsboro, allowed students to make real robots from designs they developed in their afterschool program.
Counselors and campers used a box kit to construct a robot with up to 650 pieces. A software program (ROBOTC) developed at Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy gave the students the ability to control movements.
“We had fourth-graders writing code,” said Michael “Mike” Dermody, associate professor of cinematic arts and media production in the ECU School of Art. Dermody, who grew up in a military family, said “It’s amazing how quickly they adapt. It’s a very tactile and hands-on experience. They go in and test and modify it. There’s lots of activity between the computer itself and the robot.”
For Grizzle, a rising fifth-grader at Tommy’s Road Elementary School, taking his work from the computer lab to create a functioning robot is exciting. “Robots help you in a lot of ways,” said Grizzle. “They help us do things we can’t normally do ourselves.” Grizzle has cousins who serve in the military.
The pilot program will become part of the curriculum this fall at three Wayne County schools with a higher population of children from military families, said Lou U. Rose, Operation LINK coordinator in the ECU College of Education, which has facilitated the program.
“We will be able to impact more kids that way.”
Area teachers observed some of the program activities. “Some will do it as an elective in science and math classes,” Rose said.
“The beauty of this is they can tailor it and run with it and be creative. It brings relevancy in the real world, and maybe will get students interested in science.”
Michael Giddens, an AmeriCorps camp mentor who earned a teaching certificate in middle grades science and math from ECU in May, said students learned to collaborate and work as a team at the camp.
“The energy has been electrifying,” Giddens said. “Keeping them (students) engaged is a challenge in the classroom in the 21st century.”
One old-fashioned value students have learned has been patience, Giddens said, such as when broken robots have had to be re-assembled. Now poised to reach more students, the initial idea for the Operation LINK program was to create a way for military parents to interact with their children – via the web – while the parents were away from home. “It’s (been) a way to keep the child connected,” Dermody said.
Amy Perry’s nine-year-old daughter Kayla and 10-year-old daughter, Alexis, participated in the afterschool program. Perry, a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, inspects aircraft for defects at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The Perry family doesn’t have a computer, internet or cable in their home. So the program has helped support her girls’ interests in science and technology. “It works for us,” she said.
Perry said the counselors encouraged her daughters’ unique personalities. “It’s allowing them to have the space to be who they are,” she said. “Respecting others is important.”
Kayla Perry said she enjoyed the computer lab and making a virtual robot. “I like the teachers. All the time they think of cool things for us to do,” she said. “They always come up with these amazing ideas.”
Program activities have helped build relationships between mentors and students, and among students, said Virginia Harris, a retired teacher and military spouse who taught 23 years in several states and overseas.
“I’ve seen changes in the students, being able to work together and learning to follow rules better,” Harris said. “One of the main things they learn is you’re not an island. You have to get along with people in life. I think it’s difficult for little people to work together as a team sometimes.”
To learn more, visit www.ecu.edu/operationlink.
We are excited to give you a preview into our newest curriculum series: The Introduction to Programming VEX IQ with ROBOTC. The website is still in-the-works, but it should be completely ready by August. The focus for this curriculum is on the VEX IQ virtual and/or physical robot and the ROBOTC 4.0 software featuring the new graphical function. It consists of videos, PDFs, quizzes, and our famous easy to use step-by-step videos. Check out some of the videos of from our curriculum series …
The Introduction to Programming VEX IQ with ROBOTC is a curriculum module designed to teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics engineering context. It contains a sequence of projects (plus one capstone challenge) organized around key robotics and programming concepts.
Why should I use the Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum?
Introduction to Programming provides a structured sequence of programming activities in real-world project-based contexts. The projects are designed to get students thinking about the patterns and structure of not just robotics, but also programming and problem-solving more generally. By the end of the curriculum, students should be better thinkers, not just coders.
What are the Learning Objectives of the Introduction to Programming VEX IQ Curriculum?
- Basic concepts of programming
- Sequences of commands
- Intermediate concepts of programming
- Program Flow Model
- Simple (Wait For) Sensor behaviors
- Decision-Making Structures
- Engineering practices
- Building solutions to real-world problems
- Problem-solving strategies
For more info and to see the online version of the curriculum, visit http://curriculum.cs2n.org/vexiq.
We are excited to give you a preview into our newest Robotics Academy curriculum series: The Introduction to Programming LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. The focus for this curriculum is on the LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 robot and the EV3 software. It consists of 50+ videos, PDFs, quizzes, a teacher’s guide, and our famous easy to use step-by-step videos. Check out some of the videos of from our curriculum series …
What is the Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum?
The Introduction to Programming EV3 Curriculum is a curriculum module designed to teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics engineering context. It contains a sequence of 10 projects (plus one capstone challenge) organized around key robotics and programming concepts.
Each project comprises a self-contained instructional unit in the sequence, and provides students with:
- An introduction to a real-world robot and the context in which it operates
- A challenge that the robot faces
- A LEGO-scale version of the problem for students to solve with their robots
- Step-by-step guided video instruction that introduces key lesson concepts (e.g. Loops) by building simple programs that progress toward the challenge task
- Built-in questions that give students instant feedback on whether they understood each step correctly, to aid in reflection and self-pacing
- Semi-guided “Try It!” exploration activities that expose additional uses for and variants on each behavior
- Semi-open-ended Mini-Challenges which ask students to use the skill they have just learned to solve a relevant small portion of the final challenge
- The Unit Challenge based on the original robot’s problem, for students to solve in teams as an exercise and demonstration of their mastery of the concept
- Additional Reflection Questions found in the back of this Teacher’s Guide allow you to assess the depth of students’ understandings while challenging them to apply their learning to a higher-order problem-solving and writing task.
For more info and to see the online version of the curriculum, visit http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/content/lego/ev3/curriculum/
An article titled, “Robots Are Everywhere! Learning About Technology From Robotics” was recently published on the Huffington Post website featuring the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy! The author, Dr. Julie Dobrow from Tufts University, reached out to some of the staff at the Robotics Academy to get their take on robotics in the classroom. Here are some excerpts from the article …
The “Robotics Academy” at Carnegie Mellon University features a variety of tips for educators and parents on using robotics to teach kids about math, science, engineering and physics. Their extremely well-organized website offers curricular information, products and support to demonstrate ways to use both VEX systems (essentially a kit with all the component parts that enables kids to build a robot) and LEGOs to teach many STEM principles. All of their work and products are based on extensive research.
Robin Shoop, Director of the CMU Robotics Academy, believes that some of the work they are doing at CMU can make learning come alive. “Robots provide the hook that can be used to excite students about STEM academic concepts. Robotics activities in and of themselves will not improve STEM academic performance, but if robotics technologies are introduced correctly, and the STEM academic concepts are properly foregrounded, then robotics provides an excellent organizer to teach kids about STEM.”
Ross Higashi, lead curriculum developer at CMU says, “It’s a common misconception that involving robots in a curriculum or afterschool program makes STEM magic happen. That’s simply not true… Robotics presents a wealth of opportunities to teach meaningful content. But doing that, it’s not trivial. It’s hard work. You need well-targeted lessons, and you need a teacher who can support students who are learning by doing. In the end, though, as many students and teachers will tell you: it’s absolutely worth it, and the hardest fun they’ve ever had.”
And kids do have fun. And not only kids. Jason McKenna, a K-8 teacher in the Hopewell(PA) Area School District who works with the CMU Robotics Academy points out that it’s the combination of high engagement, the ability to teach each student at his or her instructional level and provide opportunities for differentiated engagement “that makes Robotics such fun for me as a teacher.”