Mr. Whitney’s grant provided him with the funds to purchase the First Lego League Challenge Class pack. This pack includes all the support materials and curriculum needed to run the current LEGO league challenge, an after-school middle-grades coding and engineering club. During their after school meetings, Mr. Whitney introduced students to basic concepts of robotics, engineering, and coding, and encouraged students to consider engineering disciplines as future career options.
Mr. Whitney reported that many students had never been exposed to coding or mechanics, and they were able to successfully build and code Lego robots to achieve tasks such as moving objects from one place to another, following a path on the floor, and navigating a maze of obstacles.
Mr. Whitney has been building the Middle Grades coding and engineering club for the past six years. It began as a way to learn and teach the Scratch programming language the first year, progressed to working with Tufts over a few years designing biomimetic bots, and blossomed into the Lego robotics focus last year. This will remain the focus of the club going forward.
The integration of Lego robotics has enabled Mr. Whitney to have a more streamlined and cohesive curriculum for teaching robotics concepts, and providing students the opportunity to both compete and cooperate on assigned tasks.