Lego Robotics Hooray!
// LIBRARY AS MAKERSPACE
Just got my Lego We-Do and Mindstorms robotics shipment thanks to a generous grant. It took me about 30 minutes from out of the box to my first finished We Do project which always boosts my self esteem as a scientist. It helped to have background familiarity with a simple coding program like Scratch or Hopscotch and Lego instructions. The curriculum suggests as young as 2nd grade and I can see that this would be right up their alley not to mention filling a gap in our programming for 2nd and 3rd graders.
I ended up purchasing the 16 person classroom set from Lego Education which includes 8 We Do sets, a site license, and curriculum binder so I can put it on as many computers as I need for a total of almost $1500 (you can buy them separately for a much cheaper price). I wanted a site license because we don’t have enough laptops necessary for single licenses to run a program and I wanted the freedom of downloading them to as many computers in house as I could.
The teacher curriculum binder is worth its weight in gold. Complete with step by step instructions, different approaches (talking about animals in the wild and then making the animals) and did I mention already printed worksheets?!
The software was quick to set up, even on a Mac, and all the project instructions are visible on screen with the Lego part steps in easy digestible sections. The software includes prompts and suggestions for not only changing the physical Lego structure ie: how does the configuration of the pulley affect the time? but coding choices as well…make the motor turn right, left, wait 5 seconds, chirp. This is all drag and drop into the project area. I used the included one sheet index card of parts to decipher which ones they wanted me to use. My only concern is all these small Lego parts aren’t going to stay nicely in each of these boxes for long but I do appreciate that Lego gave nice Tupperware boxes for storage. I look forward to putting one of these kits out for use after school on one of our internet computers very soon.
Dancing Bird Lego We Do from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.
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Finally got a dedicated keyboard for my iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a okay. Almost normal, I just want to be able to write anywhere and hold myself to that – so it works for that purpose. The most normal row on the keyboard is the middle one. The rows above and below seem one key off, or perhaps it’s my bad typing habits. It will take some getting used to,but the iWerks bluetooth foldable keyboard it alright. It connects really fast and has a magnetic closure
Wow, the summer flew, and here i am on the last day of Content Creation. Despite my loner tendencies, I kind of got the community spirit of the class and I appreciate community much more in project creation. I definitely felt like a part of a community when working on my project, asking and trolling question on forums. And although the whole summer felt like finals week since, at the start, I knew nothing about how to turn my project idea into a real thing, I had fun learning.
I have always taught myself things and I have learned by doing as well as playing, but not on the scale that I did in this class. I think that was because of the theories we explored in the class – I felt validated in exploring and playing and asking. I felt successful in the process of learning.
At the start of the class, we attempted to define making in a more or less disjointed way. I think those definitions were pretty accurate:
Theories – tons of them
Success – in sight
Failures – plentiful
Lessons – learned (still learning)
Passion – ignighted
Exploration – done!
Creative – yep
Curiosity – peaked
Distractions – a good thing
Rabbit holes – even better
I think this class is unlike others in the program, but also not that dissimilar. The thing that makes this stand out is that the subject you get immersed in is yours to choose. That was cool. It was also cool that the pressure was removed at the beginning of the class. I will never forget the marshmallow challenge. It was a great way to set the tone for the class. Communicate, plan, execute – oh, that has to be iterative? One lesson learned.
I want to thank everyone for the class experience. It was great learning and laughing with you. You made for a great community.
This is the demo that wouldn't play in my presentation. Sorry about the lack of narration.
Gosh. The letter placement was the hardest thing. I made the mistake of curving the text (in GIMP – couldn't figure it out in Tinkercad), but didn't print a guide for letter placement. It turned out okay, though.
Here's how the letters curved.
Here's how they look on the bass drum.
This is a link to a story I made on Scratch. The divers talk to one another with the “broadcast” function.