Archive for the ‘PLTW’ tag
Summer is here, and it’s a great time to take on some new and interesting STEM activities that are both educational and fun. There are a lot of STEM resources on the web, but here’s a quick summary of a few that we think are worth checking out:
- Carnegie Mellon CS-STEM Network Summer of Learning: The CS-STEM Summer of Learning program is an online outreach research project run by the Carnegie Mellon CS-STEM Network and University of Pittsburgh Learning and Research Development Center, in partnership with Robomatter, Inc. The program seeks to improve student preparedness in areas related to Computer Science, Computational Thinking, Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics. Sign up today!
- Makey Makey: MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. By allowing you to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet, beginners and experts to invent all sorts of things like, you know, a banana piano.
- Engineering For Kids: Engineering For Kids (EFK) brings science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), to kids ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging way through classes, camps, clubs, and parties. With 145 locations around the world, it’s easy to find an EFK location near you!
- Squishy Circuits: The goal of Squishy Circuits is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. The site guides you through creating conductive dough, creating insulating dough, and building some really cool circuits.
- ROBOTC Projects on Instructables: Instructables is a website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects, which other users can comment on and rate for quality. Instructables has instructions for pretty much anything, but we’re sort of partial to the ROBOTC projects.
- Expedition Atlantis iPad App: Playing Expedition Atlantis is a classroom-proven method to teach kids the math that they need to program their robots. Through its virtual robotics environment, Expedition Atlantis allows students to focus on learning mathematical strategies, without having to worry about the nuances of programming, like syntax and debugging. And, it’s available in an iPad App!
- If that’s not enough, check out this list of 20 Super Cool Summer STEM Activities from Project Lead The Way!
If you have a cool robotics or computer science project that you’re working on this summer, let us know! We’d love to feature you and your project in our Cool Projects blog. Drop us a line at: SocialMedia@robomatter.com.
The School Year is Well Under Way, But There’s Still Plenty of Time to Make the Most of Your Classroom with the PLTW Upgrade Pack. Now on sale for $199!
When you purchase the PLTW Upgrade Pack, you’ll get:
- Robot Virtual Worlds
- Access to the Graphical Natural Language Programming Interface
- The ability to program VEX IQ robots
- Access for 100 seats for the rest of the school year
We know you dedicate a lot to making sure your students have a great school year and we want you to have a great year, too. Show us how you plan to use the Robomatter PLTW Upgrade Pack to uncomplicate your classroom and you could win great prizes for you and your school!
Here’s how it works: Send us a short video about your PLTW robotics classroom or school and how you plan to use the PLTW Upgrade Pack to extend your students’ robotics experience. We’ll pick three finalists from all of the entries and let the community vote on who they think should win.
- The finalist with the most votes will receive: A PLTW Upgrade Pack + 50 Robot Virtual Worlds Homework Packs (180-Day License) + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer to help you get the most out of Robot Virtual Worlds and ROBOTC (valued at $1798 MSRP)
- The first runner-up will receive: A PLTW Upgrade Pack + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer
- The second runner-up will receive: 50% off the purchase of a PLTW Upgrade Pack + the ROBOTC VEX Cortex Video Trainer
Entering the contest is easy. Just follow these three steps:
- Start by making sure you have a valid ROBOTC/PLTW 2015-2016 License ID. You’ll need this to submit your entry.
- Make your video: Show us how you think the upgrade pack can help you, your students, or your school. (Videos should be no longer than three minutes.)
- Submit your video by 11:59 EDT on September 20, 2015.
We’ll announce the three finalists on September 23rd. Voting will begin at noon ET on the 23rd and will continue until 11:59 pm ET on September 30th. Limit one vote per person, per day.
To learn more, visit : http://robotc.net/pltw/contest
To make sure you’re ready to take on the school year, we’ll be hosting a series of webinars to help you get your robotics classroom up and running. Check out our webinar schedule below and visit http://robotc.net/hangouts to join!
If you can’t make a webinar, don’t worry! Each webinar will be recorded, post here, and posted on http://robotc.net/hangouts the following day. Check out the past webinars below …
Learn everything you need to know about getting your PLTW robotics classroom up and running with ROBOTC. This C-based programming language has an easy-to-use development environment and is the premier robotics programming language for educational robotics and competitions.
(Starts at 1:56)
ROBOTC is the most used language for the VEX IQ Challenge, and for the VEX Robotics Competition. Robot Virtual Worlds provides a virtual environment for robotics teams to learn the program. Put the two together and you have a powerful combination that can help your team be competition-ready. And, you also have a great way to provide open-ended programming challenge for students of all abilities, whether those students will be competing or not. Learn more in this great webinar!
- CS2N Assessment Tools: September 29 @ 7:00 pm EDT
We know that all teachers love grading, right? Computer Science Student Network’s (CS2N) Automated Assessment allows teachers to keep track of their students’ submissions, scores, and progress. Learn how to create a CS2N Group for your different classrooms, import student rosters, automatically track progress of Robot Virtual Worlds, and how to utilize some of the free courses offered through CS2N.
- Using Robot Virtual Worlds in the Classroom: October 21 @ 7:00 pm EDT
You may have heard about Robot Virtual Worlds, a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming without a physical robot. But, how do you use it in the classroom? Join this webinar to learn the many ways Robot Virtual Worlds can help you simplify and extend your robotics classroom.
You’ve probably heard of Robot Virtual Worlds, a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming, even if they don’t have direct access to a physical robot. But what are the benefits of Robot Virtual Worlds and how can you use it in your classroom?
Robot Virtual Worlds is a great tool for you, your students, and your classroom. Our infographic shows just a few of the ways Robot Virtual Worlds can help you uncomplicate your classroom by:
- Helping you teach more efficiently with fewer resources
- Lowering the cost of staring a robotics classroom
- Managing students working at different levels
- Keeping students engaged
- Capturing authentic assessment and tracking individual student progress
Robot Virtual Worlds is not designed to replace your physical robots. Instead, it’s designed to help you enhance what you’re already doing in your classroom, and help you teach faster and more efficiently with fewer resources. Looking for ideas on how you can use Robot Virtual Worlds in your classroom? Here are just a few:
- Have students use Robot Virtual Worlds to test their code before working with a physical robot
- Use Robot Virtual Worlds to assign robotics homework
- Use Robot Virtual Worlds to create your own virtual challenges
- Use simulated fantasy worlds to capture students’ attention and make learning fun
- Provide a virtual environment for robotics teams to learn to program
You can also check out these real-world stories from teachers who have used Robot Virtual Worlds in their classroom:
The PLTW Upgrade Pack Includes:
Designed to enhance your physical robot classroom, Robot Virtual Worlds is a high-end simulation environment that enables students to learn programming without a physical robot.
ROBOTC Graphical uses the same Natural Language commands you’re used to, but with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface.
With the PLTW Upgrade Pack, you can program both VEX CORTEX and VEX IQ robots using the same ROBOTC programming language!
Want access to Robot Virtual Worlds, ROBOTC Graphical, and VEX IQ Programming?
The upgrade includes access for 100 seats for the entire school year.
This is my third year teaching, but my first time working with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and a robotics course. After accepting this assignment, I was extremely nervous. I did not study robotics in college, and I had never, ever pictured myself in this role. But I am so very happy to have taken on this challenge.
My favorite part about teaching this class is the atmosphere and expectations that I set up with this class and my students. From the first day of school, I was completely honest with the kids. I broke down the walls of the normal teacher-student relationship where the teacher is looked at as the bearer of all knowledge and all knowledge is passed down from the teacher to the students. I created a culture where students and their knowledge are equally valued and as important as the teacher’s. This led to a culture of mutual respect and collaboration. I, as the teacher, was not viewed as the bearer of all knowledge, but as a helpful resource to rely on when problems arose. The most important part of creating this culture is setting up those expectations from the beginning of school.
The major theme from this class was “Problem-Solving”. I would present students with a variety of real-world scenarios and they would have to think of a design to solve that problem. They would work in groups of 2 to 4 students to create, construct, and program these robots to solve the problems I presented to them. This allowed for A LOT of different interpretations and ways to solve these problems, which was awesome!
Several key strategies that I incorporated into the class that proved to be successful were: purposeful grouping, incorporating student choice, and using students in a teacher’s role to help other students who needed more assistance. I incorporated a “Menus” style of teaching and learning. Students would be purposefully grouped into groups of 2-4 and then they would be presented with 3 different levels of activities: Appetizer, Main Meal, and Dessert. Within each level, students would have to choose 1 task out of 3 or 4 different options. As a group, students would choose which task to complete. Once decided, students would work as a group to design, build, and program the robot to complete the task. I would watch the robot perform the task, sign off on their paper, and they would move on to the next part of the menu. The activities got progressively more difficult as students moved from the Appetizer to the Main Meal to the Dessert level, with the Dessert level activities being the most difficult.
As we get ready to begin with the second semester, I cannot help but think about how much I have learned and how better of a teacher that I have become because of teaching this class. Some future ideas I have are the creation of a “Girls in STEM Club”. The purpose of this being opening girls’ eyes to future careers and possibilities associated with this class and the STEM ideals. Also, possibly creating a VEX Competition Robotics club where students would meet after school to construct robots to participate in VEX Robotics competitions. One thing that I realized early on in my teaching career is how much teachers learn from their students. Teaching this class has been one of the best learning experiences of my life.
– Ross Hartley
If you’re a teacher or robotics coach and would like to write a blog about your experiences teaching, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We are at the 2014 PLTW Summit in Indianapolis this week! Stop by our booth to say hi and ask us questions.
We also have our latest iPad app, Robot Virtual Worlds Expedition Atlantis, available to try out.
And there is a ROBOTC Maze Challenge where you can program a VEX IQ robot using ROBOTC Graphical.
We look forward to seeing everyone!
From the project page:
“The Vex Claw Game was chosen as our project for the first semester because we could really use it to promote engineering throughout the community. It’s not only fun and exciting, but it also incorporates each of the Project Lead The Way classes that we offer at Walker Career Center. Parts from the claw game include many skills that we have learned during out time in PLTW including constructing structures with Vex parts, programming, rapid prototyping, CO2 laser cutting, and wiring. This project took us around 3 months of in school time to complete.”
To read more about the project and see how it was built from the ground up, visit their project page here.
On behalf of the ROBOTC team, job well done!
Do you get hungry? Do you enjoy eating food more than you enjoy making food? If you answered “Yes!” to both of those questions, you’ll be happy to know that the future engineers of America have you covered.
Students from two Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Schools have integrated the sensing and control capabilities of the VEX Cortex Robotics system with the advanced articulation capabilities of the LynxMotion Robotics system to create highly capable (and delicious) assembly lines.
The first two videos are brought to us by students in a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) class at Kings High School in California.
Robotic Sandwich Factory:
Buttered Toast Factory (complete with real-life toaster):
The work behind the last two videos was done by students in another CIM class at Lancaster High School in New York.
Coffee Manufacturing Line:
Widget Assembly Line:
Well done to all the students involved, and to the instructors that inspired them. Keep up the great work!
If you’re looking for more information, additional videos and explanation can be found on their respective YouTube channels.