SCATS Teacher’s Talk: Intro to Robotics 2014 Recap

Parents, your kids were wonderful these past couple of weeks, and I just wanted to share with you some of our experiences and curriculum that we covered over the course of this years SCATS.

The first week, we did a variety of programming challenges. Follow the line, follow the leader, don’t fall off, etc. We talked about engineering, applications in the real world for robotics, careers and college. The goal was for them to truly understand what it was like to be an engineer, learn about electricity, and learn all about computers and programming.

The second week, we did a variety of mechanical challenges. Speed races, pushing competitions, battles, etc. We learned about electric motors, gears, Newtonian physics and mechanical optimization of your robot. Many of the students favored this section of the class while many favored the previous, but I think that both were evenly blended throughout the program quite fluidly where there was enough for everyone to do. I wanted to emphasize that robotics is a multidisciplinary field. There is something in it for everyone.

Lastly, we did the maze, which is a combination programming/mechanical challenge. I challenged the campers to use the right turn rule to solve the maze, however many chose simply to program it step by step. The algorithm didn’t work out as well, but seeing as how we were running out of time, I feel like all the campers performed very well!

Your kids were a joy to have in my class, and I hope that one day they might look back on this as an investment in their future. It certainly was when I was their age, and now I am happy to have been able to give that opportunity back to our community.

Thank you again!

Ryan Peach