This term ten grade one students participated in the Challenge program once a week for 45 minutes for eight weeks in the library. This term we explored robotics, coding and circuits. We began by building VEX IQ and Lego Mindstorm robots. Students had many opportunities to problem solve and help one another during this challenging process. With the help of some older students the robots were completed and they had fun driving them around. It was harder than we thought!
Next, we experimented with algorithms (a list of steps you can use to follow a task), coding and programming using both paper and pencil and the iPads. Students used the Daisy the Dinosaur app to create blocks of code that made Daisy move, change direction, grow and shrink.
Finally, we used littleBits Electronics to create basic circuits that included a power source as well as a variety of inputs and outputs. We began by looking at a flashlight and talking about the different parts that make it work. We discovered that the battery is the power, the button was the input and the light was the output. Next, we looked at the littleBits and found that blue was power, pink was input and green was output. In this first session students were asked to play with the “bits” and see what they could create and discover.
In our last session students were challenged to “make something that does something” using littleBits and a variety of materials. They learned about the design process and shared their learning. Their creations included a jellyfish that lights up and has a movable arm, a night camera with an alarm, a flashing car and the adventure car.