Grant Recipient: Mariko Wong
Fifth and fourth grade GATE students participated in an afterschool enrichment class using LEGO Mindstorm EV3. Students meet weekly for an hour. After building a robot using guided steps, students learned how to use the EV3 software to program their robots. Students participated in mini-lessons on how to program the robot using the steering and sound blocks, the degrees in a circle, the metric system, measurement conversions, and how to find the circumference of a circle. Students were given specific tasks and challenges. For example, students had to figure out the number of millimeters the robot traveled with one rotation of the wheel. With that information they had to figure out how to program the robot to travel one meter. Students also worked in small groups to complete a figure 8 challenge. They had to program their robots to make a figure 8 around two set points. Students also developed their own challenge mats. They programed their robots to complete each other’s challenges.
Students developed their mathematical and problem solving skills in a fun, engaging, hands-on way. In their experimentation they learned how to control variables to determine what caused specific robot movements. They had to work collaboratively and cooperatively. They discussed their ideas to determine the best plan. They learned that there are multiple solutions to problems.
The Lawndale Elementary School District Educational Foundation Grant provided students a unique learning experience. Some students have a new found interest in robotics and programming. All students improved their thinking and programming skills. It’s wonderful to hear students say, “This is so fun!” not even realizing how much they are learning and growing.