I’m volunteering at my daughter’s school in the new after school “Lego Robotics” class. Today was the first day and it was so much fun! I am still amazed at how much we got done so quickly, snacks, intro to the kit and the creation of “Dancing Birds” by 11 kids all happened within an hour!
It starts out so simply just putting a few lego’s together based on the image on the computer and then all of a sudden there is wires on them and then when we plug it in a drag a few performance options around on the screen and when a button is pushed the birds are dancing and making all sorts of different noises as the kids figure out what their preferences are!!
For me some of the most interesting parts were the dynamics of watching the kids work so well together and/or solo to create their masterpieces, they were in teams of two and instructed to help each other through and while some of them excelled as a team, there were also some where one was obviously having a hard time slowing down enough for their partner to keep up. Social skills were a big part of the teaching/coaching part of this to allow the slower students the opportunity to learn what was being presented and also the opportunity for the faster students to learn about how fulfilling it can be to help out a partner.
Other interesting things that I learned involved the industry, and if I am remembering right, there are some 14 million dollars of scholarships for kids who are involved in this world of Lego Robotics!! Some of the contests didn’t even have anyone apply I heard so talk about an opportunity to help some kids through college, it’s fun to do too, I really wish that all kids could be introduced to this and that it was more than just a small group after school.
I’m looking forward to next weeks project and also very much looking forward to introducing this to my girls when they are old enough, at school it’s not available where we are at until 3rd grade though so we might just get started at home…