What a great meeting we had with the kids in our Lego and Robotics Academy 4 H Club for February. The kids met for two hours to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) using Lego MBA, and Lego Education WeDo Robotics.
We started off with a short business meeting and announcements from our President age 11, Vice President age 10, Secretary Treasurer age 11, and Club Representative age 11.
Then we started our program for the day. We introduced the Lego Education WeDo Robotics kit to the kids. We went over vocabulary words we would be using today, and looked at pictures for the software commands. Then we looked at parts in our WeDo kit including bricks, gears, a motor, sensors, and more.
One by one, we had several kids volunteer to come forward and build the model in the Lego Education WeDo Robotics “Getting Started” models. We completed 5 of 20 of these beginning projects.
The kids learned about:
1. Motor and Axle
3. Idler Gear
4. Gearing Down
5. Gearing Up
First, the volunteer built the model, then programmed the model to operate, then clicked start on the software so the model operated and followed the program. Then stop for it to stop. All the kids answered math, science, and logic questions about the project.
While I explained each concept of the lesson, and asked the kids questions, my son, age 11, helped each child find the parts in the kit and coached them how to build the model. He also helped us operate the software for each project.
Next, we had Show and Tell. The purpose of having Show and Tell is to support each child in what they are interested in, what they are learning and building with at home, to build their confidence, and practice skills with public speaking. We ask them to speak for 3 to 5 minutes.
I asked the kids to bring a project they have built. I also asked them to use an index card to help them with their plan of what to say, and answer these questions to make their presentations:
What model you brought today?
What kit is it from? (Lego MBA currently has two levels and five kits)
What skill or technique did you learn from building this project?
Some children also added how they play with their creation.
The kids are not forced to do Show and Tell. It is optional and not all the kids participate. Some kids are excited to stand up and speak, others not so much. But as we progress in our learning, we will ask the kids to all participate so they all get practice at speaking in front of others.
Some of the projects shared today included:
Lego MBA airplanes
Lego MBA micro build airport, plane, bus, and loading conveyer.
Lego houses and Lego MBA airplane.
Lego MBA Fighter Ant and a high tech robot.
A mini construction site with dozer crane, work truck, wheel barrow, signs, and people.
Lego MBA TyRex
The kids did a great job showing their models, speaking to the audience, and explaining what building skills they learned or techniques they used to create their projects.
Also one of the parents brought a Lego NXT Rattle Snake robot to Show and Tell.
This thing was amazing. He preprogrammed it at home and downloaded the program into the memory of the robot.
He pushed a button to activate the program, and the rattle on the tail shook as a warning. Then, when its eyes sensed motion, the snake sprung forward and striked at the motion it sensed. Very cool.
We had to be careful as some of the younger children were really excited and would get to close to the snake robot and not realize it could bump into them when it leaped forward. It would not hurt them, but it might hurt the snake robot if it got caught on their clothes or was bumped to hard. But with a few reminders, we got the kids to refrane from grabbing or damaging the robot. WHEW!
Then we had refreshments. The kids all washed their hands and took a seat.
The parents passed out sliced oranges, whole clementines, sliced cheddar cheese, juice pouches, and water bottles.
Then all the kids and parents pitched in to clean up, and fold and put away tables and chairs. Then we said our goodbyes until next time.
My kids love learning at these meetings and getting together with their friends in our 4H club.
Plus an added bonus, some kids stay around a little longer and play on the playground.
Today they played tag, hide and seek, and flew a kite while the paren
Check out more of our Lego Stories from the categories listed below, and I will be adding more stories to these links as we do more:
Lego and Robotics Academy