Last week marked the end of our BPS Excellence For All (EFA) Robotics program at Mendell Elementary School. Our team has been working with the 5th grade class at Mendell for the past year. On May 23rd, 2018 we had our final showcase. Students were tasked with building a space rover to explore a foreign planet; able to maneuver around obstacles and pick up valuable goods. The students learned how to program a robot to drive, then use sensors to detect obstacles and change direction. They also built a grabber arm to pick up objects. As part of the challenge, students were asked to prepare a professional engineering design proposal, giving presentations in pairs in order to explain their design and convince the teachers why their design was best. The students were able to solidify their understanding of the Engineering Design Process as well as strengthen their public speaking and presentation skills.
Over the course of the year, we held two sessions per week with the 5th grade class teaching them the fundamentals of engineering design, coding and building. The students participated in many design challenges including Coding Olympics, Robot Puppets, and the Rover Challenge to name a few. The objective of this program was to give the students and opportunity to strengthen their collaboration skills while introducing them to coding and building.