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WS3: Workshop: Driving lights through robotic educational
Robotics and computational thinking are ideal tools for developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) pedagogy. Nowadays, robotic education tools arise with the aim of promoting the innovation and the motivation of the students during the learning process. Robots are becoming more common in our daily life; thus, it is important to integrate robots at all levels of our society. This workshop is focused on driving the same content across three different low-cost robotic educational tools. The first one is Scratch, interactive stories, games and animations can be programed. The second tool is Crumble, it is an easy-to-use programmable controller. Its programming interface uses a block programming language which eases its use by children aged below 14. The last but not the least is Arduino, Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It is a platform that incorporates a simple microcontroller and an interface development environment to create the applications to be downloaded into the board. This workshop is aimed to present the mentioned platforms as robotic educational tools for people as the first step to get into robotics world. Throughout this workshop an initiation to robotics is developed in the context of educational robotics.
I. Preliminary agenda
This workshop is intended to be deployed for 90 minutes. The agenda is divided in five main blocks. The first block is intended to introduce STEM pedagogy and robotics education as the underlying background of this workshop. Furthermore, an overview of the workshop is provided too. In a second step the Scratch tool is presented, and the multi-platform content is deployed based on Scratch. In a second step the Crumble tool is presented, and the multi-platform content is deployed based on Crumble. As the third step, the Arduino tool is presented, and the multi-platform content is deployed based on Arduino. Finally, some time is reserved to discuss about the content and the experiences.
A. Workshop background and overview (15 minutes)
Robotic education is becoming very popular these days. Simple robots are being used within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education as a powerful tool which eases the way to teach STEM knowledge. Additionally, Robotics also provide an attractive manner to transform concepts that are perceived by students as boring into an amusing learning process. Robotics is being used as the modernization and improvement for most of processes. This occurs as result of robots can be easily integrated within the current industrial processes. Furthermore, the robotics has become an important tool for the students to be involved in STEM. Nevertheless, the introduction to the robotics is not a simple task. First, the robotics combines mechanics, electricity, electronics, and computer science with the purpose of designing and building robotics applications. Robots are programmable electromechanical machines that include sensors and actuators to make decisions and adapt to different situations. Hence, the first step to be introduced into the robotics should be the acquisition of programming skills and basic mechatronic skills.
B. Driving lights with Scratch (20 minutes)
Scratch was developed by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Education division. The mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Interactive stories, games and animations can be programed with Scratch. The workshop uses Scratch to implement a basic and widely known automatism, a traffic semaphore.
C. Driving lights with Crumble (20 minutes)
Crumble is an easy-to-use programmable controller. Its programming interface uses a block programming language which eases its use by children aged below 14. Educational robotics can be implemented easily with it due to the board connectors. Motors and servos can be managed by Crumble. Additionally, different sensors can be connected to it such as ultrasound distance sensor, infrared distance sensor and line detector sensor. Furthermore, Crumble can manage up to 32 RGB (Red, Green and Blue) LEDs (Light Emitter Diodes) independently and using 24 bits’ color resolution. At this time, the traffic semaphore is implemented using Crumble.
D. Driving lights with Arduino (20 minutes)
Arduino was released by Massimo Banzi in 2005 as a modest tool for Banzi’s students at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII). Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It is a platform that incorporates a simple microcontroller and an interface development environment to create the applications to be downloaded into the board. The use of Arduino projects includes a wide range of applications from robotics to automatic control irrigation systems. Finally, the traffic semaphore is built in Arduino.
E. Discussion (15 minutes)
At this point, a discussion is opened with the aim of exchanging impressions and getting feedback from the attendees. The discussion is focused on how educational robotics can be good to motivate young students to basics disciplines, as mathematics and physics. The students think that these are too complicated and abstract disciplines, but with the applications in robotics, students can see how useful these disciplines can be.
II. Pre-knowledge of the attendees Previous experience in programming or robotics is not needed due to the nature of the used tools and the content
Pedro Plaza is with Plaza Robotica as Educational Content Designer.
Aruquia Peixoto is with CEFET/RJ (Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca) as Assistant Professor.
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