a robot

Recently, fifth-grade students from CHSD 170's Roosevelt School embarked upon a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) instructional journey to develop working robots with adequate power and mobility to participate in classroom races.

The students used motors, circuits, and sensors to create functioning robots. Each student team developed a robot from initial blueprints and refined each android to achieve maximum speed and maneuverability while participating in classroom races. Though most teams created walking robots, one group's robot used a "dog-paddle" swimming stroke to compete against a walking robot.

Robotics labs are a fun way for students to develop vital 21st-century skills. The hands-on experiences encountered in the activities connect theory with practice using a discovery approach for the wide-ranging fields linked to Robotics. These fields include computer science, mechanics, and electronics.

STEM technologies, such as Robotics, fulfill different academic purposes for students that encourage the development of future technology skills. In an elementary classroom, these technologies can be enhanced using Robotics.

"It was a pleasure to coach the student teams as they constructed robots specialized to complete tasks," said Louisa Flamini, a Roosevelt School fifth-grade Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies teacher. "As a teacher, nothing excites me more than seeing students experience profound, ‘I get it’ moments during the learning process." Robotics has become a part of classroom instruction in many school systems. Students become interested and want to continue learning and develop skills that will be essential in years to come. An early introduction to robotics encourages learners' essential growth and expression, engaging their cognitive, critical, and creative potential. Mastering these tools gives students the sense that knowing about robots and different concepts can prove vital for them in the future. The fifth-graders plan to learn coding skills that address Common Core Math and ELA standards for their next project. Learning coding from an early age can help students master computer science skills and prepare them to think logically.