Written by GoIT STEM Facilitator, Carlos Matallana
In the first two classes of the GoIT program we ran in November, exercises with the robots became more complex and challenging. The first week we learned to move the robots forward, backwards, rotation, and specific tasks such as following a path. Even though these exercises seem very simple they are key to understand the robot commands, once students resolve this basic task they understand coding arrangement and familiarize with the software interface. MindStorm link Facilitator asked the students to move the robot around a table. Some groups started coding right away, a group of students named ‘Los Panchos’ asked for help, Luis and Jorge, they both have an idea but wanted to make sure before moving forward. They certainly were. They broke down the commands first mentally (spatial reasoning) then started coding. As the time went by some groups were coding-excited, aiming to finish first. Most of them have their ideas clear but were sort of confused in the commands series. The facilitator explained in the board the spatial movements required for the robot to accomplish its tasks. ‘8 commands in total,’ said Danny, ‘yes,’ said Nicole ‘…four forward commands and four rotations all intertwined’. Once everyone had a clear idea of the task they ran back to their computers and started coding. Team Los Panchos won this task by finishing first the set of assigned tasks.