Grade 5 homerooms have been visiting the Design Lab to create an extending grabbing arm. Students have enjoyed following the sequence of steps to build the basic arm, then developing their own concepts for the grabber, depending on what they wish to pick up. In the testing phase, different objects are assigned points depending on how difficult they are to pick up. Students also have an opportunity to refine their design’s durability and performance with other materials and techniques.
G5 Extending Grabber slides
In the future, this activity could be developed further with links to math concepts, for example investigating the different acute and obtuse angles created by the arm. This design is really a prototype which could be further developed with lego Mindstorms or more advanced making techniques.
Grade 4 are practising using Edison robots, both as an engaging way to learn about coding and robotics as well as helping prepare for their upcoming unit on “Systems”.
We are running through a sequence of self-directed intro activities to help students understand:
- The different features of the robots, the various inputs (barcode, sound, light and digital upload via cable)
- The various commands & outputs (movement, sound, line tracking, stopping/avoiding lines & physical barriers)
- Some of the basic things Edison can do (driving, navigating, racing, tracing, sumo wrestling(!))
Shortly, we will upload some student videos, also attached are some activity sheets to give you an idea of how the learning material is structured.
While these activities are probably best suited to Grades 2-5, the learning sequence continues into more complex activities that would likely be applicable to higher grades. If you would like to know more, please get in touch!
The Edison robot is a powerful, engaging tool for teaching Elementary students computational thinking and computer programming in a hands-on way.
With built-in sensors as well as lights, sounds and autonomous behaviour capabilities, Edison makes robotics education accessible to students of all ages.
- Respond to light and sound
- Follow lines and avoid obstacles
- Communicate with other Edison robots
- Connect to other Edison robots and LEGO bricks
- And much more!
Edison robots can be programmed in different ways to suit students’ age/ability:
- Printable barcodes that the robot reads as it drives over (simple)
- “Ed Blocks” drag and drop block graphic language coding that students perform on iPad (intermediate)
- “EdWare” hybrid coding app (block or script) (UES)
- “EdPy” line based script coding using Python (advanced)
We can work with you and your team to plan some discrete or integrated robotics activities using Edison robots. Currently we have around 30 robots based in the ES Design Lab that we can play with in either the lab or in classrooms.
Some of the Grade 5 classes are investigating how to create a “grabbing claw” that mimics a bird of prey’s talons. This activity comes at the end of their Biomimicry Unit which saw students explore the many ways scientists and designers use nature as inspiration to solve problems. Below are some photos of 5JP students creating their grabbing claw designs.
You can view the lesson plan here. The claw design activity comes from PBS LearningMedia.