Thursday, May 19, 2016

Coding Club: Exploring Robotics thanks to ManACE!

This post is part of a series of entries documenting the startup of our Kids Who Code Coding Club at Hamiota Elementary. 

The Kids Who Code project at Hamiota Elementary School focuses on introducing computer science and coding to young learners in engaging and meaningful ways.  Using student-friendly coding tools, students and teachers are learning how to code and exploring ways to build important 21st century skills through coding.  This year, a noon hour coding club for grades 2-5 students is being offered.  In one of their initial club meetings, students set goals and shared their interests related to computer science and coding.  One common goal that students identified was to explore robotics.  Many students expressed a strong desire to code robots and build robots.  Thanks to a ManACE Seed Grant, students can now act on those desires!

Since learning about robotics was a student-identified goal, students have been involved in the decision making for this project.  The first step was to decide which robotics products to purchase, so coding club members worked together to research different options for educational robotics.  Students were asked to identify pros, cons, features and pricing for a variety of products, including  BeeBots, Dash & Dot robots, Sphero and Cubelets.   Once students had completed their research, each club member voted on their top two choices.  Students felt that the Sphero robots and Cubelets would be best for the club.  

The Cubelets and Sphero robots have now arrived, so students are exploring all that is possible with these exciting new tools! Students will be reviewing their robotics purchases to inform other students and schools, so be sure to check back for more information in the coming months.  Our reviews will be posted on this blog and shared on Twitter (@LeahO77). 


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