Hands-on workshop - Intro: Teach robotics to elementary aged kids. If you are a tech wizard and haven't considered volunteering at your local underserved public school, then come on down!
Show teachers, parents, volunteers how to launch a STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) class in elementary aged kids. Something that is rarely done...and we are seeing it more and more difficult to recruit in Middle and High School kids to engineering, programming, and technical careers. The approach starts with "computational thinking" via programs like Kodu, Gamestar Mechanic, and Scratch.
Then familiar building construction sets are used to learn mechanical aspects of robotic design/engineering. K'nex is my preferred, but many options exist.
Electronics are taught via:
- the water analogy for circuit theory
- Squishy circuits (shout out to U of St. Thomas)
- snap circuit kits
- Arduinos, plug and play sensors, etc.
- and soldering!
And then its all brought together in a working robot! Starting out in a "tethered" mode, but eventually introducing wireless control via Wixels from Polulu.
Elementary teachers and volunteers who want to see kids engaged with technology should take this introductory course.
After this introductory course you will be amazed how accessible technology has become!