Robotics is a growth area in ICT and Link2ICT offers the chance to see the latest technological innovations in your classroom — motivating and inspiring pupils. A Link2ICT Robot Day enables pupils to discover robot building, programming and racing. Classes can explore the interaction possible with this exciting humanoid robot before writing their own program and seeing it in action. It’s an ideal opportunity to learn about computing, sensors and control in a challenging and fun way AND meet a humanoid robot called NAO!
Buying and maintaining sufficient kit to address the physical computing aspects of the curriculum can be expensive, particularly if you are trying to show progression and need a range of kit. Therefore, Lego Mindstorm EV3 Robots are perfect for years 4, 5 and 6 with plenty of extension work available to take you into secondary school territory.
Yarnfield Primary School believes in an education that is rich in opportunities and experiences; one that influences a lifelong love of learning. It’s no surprise then that they have taken advantage of a Link2ICT Robot Day to cover a whole host of skills - numeracy skills of estimation in time and distance; it consolidates the use of decimals, angles and length. Whilst in science, it links really well with an Earth and Space unit of work and reiterates the concept of fair testing procedures. The challenge, the success, the frustration, the trial and error, the desire to get the program ‘spot on’ and the teamwork are all good reasons why the teachers and pupils love the experience.
We talked to Adrian Thompson, Computing Coordinator at Yarnfield Primary to find out more about their Robot Day success...
Why was the school interested in having a robot day? What were the outcomes you were looking for?
We were looking to meet the National Curriculum objectives in Computing for Control Technology, revise key Computing concepts, raise engagement in Computing.
Why did you choose Link2ICT's robot day?
I had met staff from Link2ICT on a course who had talked about the robot days and I recognised that it would fit right in with what we wanted to achieve here at Yarnfield. In addition, a workshop had been organised by the previous Computing Coordinator in school which had been very successful, so we were familiar with what Link2ICT had to offer and could trust that it would work well.
What happened on the day? What activities did it include?
We started with an introduction assembly with the robot. This certainly captured the pupil’s attention seeing NAO dance, speak, go through various movements and respond to questions. Then each Year 5 class had a 90 minute workshop using Lego EV3 robots, learning how to program them using the software. Pupils define the instructions and transfer this information by connecting the EV3s to the laptops.
Apart from organising the logistics of the day, did you need to do any extra work?
No, the Link2ICT consultant provided all the equipment and led the sessions with the pupils.
How did it fit in with your curriculum?
It all tied in with the computing programmes of study which specifies, "design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems".
How do you feel the robot day went? What did the pupils think?
The day went very well. The children were engaged and enthusiastic. Plus, the staff were amazed by the robot during the introduction in assembly.
Were the desired outcomes achieved? Were there any unexpected outcomes?
The desired outcomes were achieved, however I also realised the children had some gaps in their knowledge of certain computing concepts, so this was really useful to identify.
Would you use the service again/recommend the Link2ICT Robot Days to other schools?
Yes, Steve Rowley, who was the Link2ICT consultant, was excellent. It was a very successful day and I would thoroughly recommend this unique experience to other schools.
Clearly, Yarnfield Primary is committed to the development of their children and ensuring they fulfill the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Why not enrich your curriculum with an inspiring day based around robotics? Meet NAO, the humanoid robot—build and program robots to tackle challenges and win robotic races. These days are developed to meet the individual needs of your school, catering for multiple classes at multiple key stages across the day or a more intensive whole day event. We can help your school with the new computing curriculum in an affordable way. Bring exciting and challenging learning days to your school - book your robot experience day today!
If you are interested in a Robotic Wow Day, please contact your Link2ICT Account Manager.