Robotics in Education


I have just subscribed to this group and found some great posts, however they are all a couple of years old :-( Would have loved to have known about them at the time?

I have been a long time fan of physical computing and Robotics, way before I cam across the Raspberry Pi and attended the only Pi Academy in the SW of England. I am a late entry teacher (I started my school based training in 2014), I am now Computing lead and teach only computing to 12 classes in a two form entry Primary School. I have used MicroBits and Crumble Boards in class very successfuly and have used Raspberry Pis in my after school STEM clubs. We took part in Pi Wars a couple of years ago and have carried out two High Altitude Balloon Launches, the latest one being last Summer Holiday as a CPD workshop.

Last year in the Summer Term, my bespoke curriculum included a Mars Explorer project for Year 4 and Year 5. Year 4 using Crumble Boards and Year 5 using MicroBits. Due to time constraints (only one lesson a week) this carried on into the Autum Term, however ended up consisting of a simple maze and a bridge obstacle course as oppsed to the Mars Explorer Challenge. The plan this year was to carry this out as a class project with the Teachers doing the D&T bit and I would do the Physical Computing bit. There was to be a slight change in that Year 4 would now do the CAS Iron Man Challenge (a project that started a few years ago) and Year 5 would re-visit the Mars Explorer Challenge.

Sadly - due to the current situation this will no longer take place and I am going to have to come up with a plan for remote learning.

Crumble Boards are probably out, as although I understand someone (poss Redfern) were going to start working on a Web Based platform, I don't believe this has come to fruition. In that case , as the MicroBit coding environment is online and includes a virtual MicroBit I think I'll get both year groups to work on MicroBits?

The sad part is - Physical Computing is supposed to include hands on :-(

As an incentive for learning, I do have a possible plan. I have two Raspberry Pi based Robots in my workshop that I built for a Droid Battle on Star Wars Day for our local Pi Jam last year. My thoughts are to convert these so that they can be controlled over a web interface and let the children take part in a real challenge, but only once they have completed thier online work!!

Any thoughts

If anyone is interested I created a website to try and kick off some form of Robotics challenge in the SW after attending PiWars, it did not come to fruition. WHat I may do however is update the very bare Robotics in Education section whilst I am off school.



Age7-11, 11-14, 14-16
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