Here is an update from our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths) Coding classes where our main aim this year is to enable Brillantmont International School students to develop practical and flexible skills relating to technology. We believe that there is space alongside the traditional curriculum to develop creative and technical skills with the use of robotics and computer programming. We want our students to be aware of the exciting possibilities out there when they leave school and enable them to have the confidence to study anything they want to in the future.
Brillantmont Students Program Robots in the Real World
To begin with, students used commands, loops, and conditional statements to create artwork and control characters on a computer screen. We have now made the leap into using the same code to control an actual robot. We’re using mBot machines made by Makeblock and they are proving to be a lot of fun. Our grade 8 and 9 students built the robots themselves and are now learning to control them using the same sort of code.
The students assembled and connected a small 16 by 8 LED screen to the back of their robots. This is a first step towards getting the robots to be more interactive and the students to realise their potential. They have all now correctly assembled light sensors, LED displays and ultrasonic sensors to measure distances. Each sensor is connected by ethernet cable to the CPU of the robot’s circuit board. Getting the wiring correct was a bit of a challenge but we got there in the end.
Over the next few weeks we will be using LED matrices to spell out message, working on the robots’ ability to avoid obstacles and adjusting sensors to allow the robots to follow set paths. With an emphasis on creativity, problem solving and team work, our coding lessons are blasting open a door into the future of education!
Next on the agenda – Python programming and game building and with a nod to Halloween, robot spiders!