Robotics in the Classroom: Here’s How!

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Time spent with chalk and blackboard in the classroom. Technology has taken over the school environment, transforming the teaching methodology of schools and arousing more and more interest in students. The change is such that several universities have started to offer courses to help high school and elementary school teachers to bring robotics to their students [1]. But the question remains: how do you use robotics in the classroom?

At I Do Code, students are divided according to their age in the Kids and Teens modalities of the courses. As different students, they learn to deal with robotics in two different ways: for Kids, robotics is presented through Arduino and, for Teens, it is introduced through the Raspberry Pi. We’ll talk about these two methods below.

 

Robotics in the room 

Logic and programming concepts applied to robotics

Arduino: Creative Technology in the Classroom

It’s possible that you’ve never heard of this little microcontroller board, but Arduino is one of the most used tools nowadays by those working in the robotics world.

With this board, I Do Code’s younger students have a real robotics experience, learning to connect different components in complex electronic circuits and programming these components to perform the most diverse functions.

And best of all: all programming is done using the Ardublockly tool, very similar to Scratch, a platform used by our students in their first semester to create games and animations[2]. Like Scratch, Ardublockly is based on block programming and even allows students to create their own blocks, making the classroom much more lively!

The ease of programming in blocks and the uncomplicated assembly of the circuit, together with the logical challenge of organizing the commands given to the computer, arouse the interest of students, who develop classroom projects that simulate solar plants, computer coolers, famous games such as Genius and an electronic version of Tic Tac Toe, and much more!

The use of this robotics face in the classroom is a powerful tool to awaken students’ interest in content and concepts that, at first, have no direct connection with technology learning. This interest is taken home and also to school, where the student demonstrates more willingness to learn and study, by taking with them the interactive side of education seen in I Do Code.

Raspberry Pi: The Computer That Fits in Your Pocket

With the intention of increasingly challenging students, I Do Code for Teens classes are equipped with the technology of the Raspberry Pi, a pocket computer the size of a credit card, which uses Python programming.

In conjunction with the Raspberry Pi, students learn to assemble electrical circuits with LEDs, resistors and buttons. To do this, they use Protoboards (test plates), which have holes and connections that conduct energy that allow students to verify that their circuits and codes are working correctly. Students also develop projects involving robots with ultrasound and anti-collision sensors, motors and keyboard controls.

The small Raspberry computer’s programming is based on the use of pins, which can be configured to receive or send information – depending on the code to be executed. It is on these pins that wires are connected that connects the microcomputer to the breadboard so that there is a transit of code commands made by the students so that the circuit can execute them.

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