Programming robots and understanding that robots need ‘us’ to tell them what to do gives our girls empowerment to code. Preps to Grade 6 girls enjoy coding and programming a variety of robots (just a few mentioned in this post) and learning mathematical concepts along the way.
Directional language, numbers, simple algorithms and place value are fun with robots. Our youngest learn with Bee Bots and Blue Bots. Coding the robot to move to identify numbers or move to the answer an addition on a mat. Learning co-ordinates with a Blue Bot… turn over a card with a grid reference and program the Blue Bot to that co-ordinate. Moving around the mat as cards are drawn.
Pro Bots are fabulous for enjoying and understanding measurement, angles and time. The girls are being exposed to Logo, a text-based programming language, and being able to use a pen to see the lines and angles makes learning visible.
Spheros are a huge hit for maths! Being able to see the points on a graph, understanding x and y axis, in the drawing facility. Our girls have undertaken tasks to experience gradients when programming the Sphero in long jump, understood friction with distance and time on different surfaces and the relationship of time and distance. Reading and writing 5 digit numbers was fun with Sphero Bolt, programming the Sphero to move display on the LED Matrix a digit then write and read the digits, adding and subtraction 1, 10, 100, 1000 & 10000 mentally! Using the animation facility the girls made 5 digit number animations!
Lego EV3 is a must for upper primary years to understand how the sensors turn their measurement of the outside world into numbers. For example, to avoid hitting something in its path, EV3 monitors the numbers coming from the ultrasonic detector, like a bat sending out a chirp, the signal bounced off the obstruction comes back, and the robot calculates the distance to the obstruction. Speed equals distance divided by time, so if the robot knows how fast its ultrasonic ‘ping’ is moving it can calculate the distance the ping has travelled over if it knows the time delay, and from this it knows how far the object is away. If the object is too close, the robot can just turn its wheels and move away, collision avoided.
Drones are fabulous for teaching mathematical concepts…. speed, distance, time, aerial views, grid referencing, graphing and of course programming!
Experience maths concepts with robots is only limited by your imagination! So many great ideas can be found:
This site is British, its free, and has some good resources! CAS Barefoot
Our students are the future builders, coders and consumers of robotics. With our world becoming more automated than ever, being technologically competent may become a great advantage!