Robot Discovery in the Girls’ School

August 22, 2018 at 2:20 PM

When the educators from MOTAT set up in the Library and invited the youngest students from the Girls’ School to come and explore, the anticipation and excitement was palpable. The whole experience was labelled as Visual Non-Screen Oriented Coding and included a Scribblebot which was programmed to draw, Cubetto coding mats and tiles where words could be spelt out with a robotic cube and DASH robots.

The aim of the visiting educators was to present a programme which focused on the STEAM Cell competencies; design thinking and product design and testing, computational thinking including programming and robotic control and collaborative thinking where working together and discussing outcomes leads to higher order thinking skills.

The girls couldn’t wait to try the different activities and the joy of success could be heard everywhere as one after the other they cried out ‘It works, it works!’ One group was completely mystified by the fact that their coded mat would not work, through questioning and discovery they identified the issue and resolved it, learning the technique of ‘debugging.’

Very quickly the girls learned that by experimenting, trying something new, seeking solutions and perhaps even failing meant that their learning was greatly enhanced.

The dancing robot was the highlight of the morning. He had been programmed to respond to commands, tell a joke and dance to music. However, sometimes even the best programmed robot may have a mind of his own and everyone was intrigued when he wouldn’t respond to the voice of the team leader. So many questions from the girls about how equipment was programmed and coded, rounded out the wonderful hands-on session of STEAM.

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