In the 8th grade Robotics elective, students use science, technology, engineering and math skills to design and program Lego Mindstorm robotics equipment. The objective of this course is to introduce the students to basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. This course involves students in the development, building and programming of an autonomous robot. Students work hands-on in teams to design, build, program and document their progress. Student-designed robots are programmed to operate in various situations where students will apply the scientific process to test and revise their design. Students compete in the First Lego League competition and the World War II History Museum Robotics Competition.
At the First Lego League competition, student teams research a real-world problem and are challenged to develop a new and innovative solution. They also must design, build, and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms EV3 equipment and software, and compete on a table-top playing field. Along their journey, students develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions to judges. They also practice the program’s core values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
At the World War II History Museum Robotics Competition, student teams are presented with a challenge that was faced by soldiers in World War II. They research this situation and develop an idea that could have helped the soldiers in the war. They also must design, build, and program their robot to accomplish tasks on a table-top playing field, which depicts some of the events from the war. This competition is held at the history museum in New Orleans, where the students get to experience and learn more about World War II.