Tired of delivering traditional STEM activities or finding it difficult to inspire your class in Design & Technology or Computing? Then VEX Robotics is the answer! Providing an exciting, affordable and scalable solution, VEX Robotics is the leading platform for educational robotics around the world. Offering platforms catering to Key Stage 2, 3, 4 and beyond, VEX IQ and VEX EDR are perfectly placed to allow students to grow and develop in an open-ended, problem solving and engaging way.
Robotics are fun and interesting, but how can a school go about implementing them into their school? Restech’s Zan Nadeem gives her top tips on the topic.
The changes to the curriculum, although daunting in some ways, are hugely exciting. Most people, kids and adults, have a love for making things. The power to create/ and the joy from finishing a self conceived model, drawing, cake, knitted jumper etc, is indescribable. To be able to understand how to make the devices, devices that we use everyday, and how they are programmed is incredible and hugely appealing for many students. This is why robotics projects for students, and robots for schools, are proving to be so popular.
With so much talk about the raspberry pi - which we feel does have its merits, but is not always the most efficient solution - we felt that we had to write an article about arduino and why it’s a great way to get started with robots, electronics and computer science.
The Arduino board is designed for artists and hobbyists – in other words people who are not necessarily roboticists or ‘geeky’ by nature, but are interested in making things that move, interactive models and projects that react to the environment and have some degree of sophistication and elegance.
Four years ago, Stanborough School started its LEGO Robotics Club. Our goal was to introduce pupils to the principles of robotics and computing, and to give them an enthusiasm for engineering.
The club offers an initial six-week course in which pupils learn to design, build and program standard robots from instructions provided with the LEGO Mindstorms kit. They then move on to build and program machines of their own design.
To build a robot, pupils first construct a basic flat four-wheeled platform, following the instructions in a user guide. This acts as a chassis for the NXT brick - the mind of the robot. Next, pupils are given access to a large range of parts - including sensors for sound, touch and colour - which they attach to their robot to enable it to perform desired functions, such as stopping when it has reached a wall or firing a ball. When adding these components to robots of their own design, pupils realise the importance of careful planning: they need to ensure the motors and wiring can be connected to the NXT.