The fifth grade students brought their imagination and personal life experiences to create robots which can be used in natural disaster areas. It was amazing watching the students work with the same exact tool kits and design distinctive blueprints for original designs. They worked as a team to bring these designs to life by building prototypes. They created original designs that were unique to the groups’ dynamics. The designs were based off of research on the different type of robots and their uses.
Another aspect of the unit was to design toys that would appeal to other students. They learned how to work with constraints and criteria. For example, the toy had the following constraints: must contain one moving part and completed within a 1 hour time limit. The designs exceeded the original expectation of the assignment.
The students also created presentations to explain their thinking behind the design. The students’ conversations were rich with knowledge they had gathered during the study of robots. The culminating project was to design a field site and test the robot design to be able to remove hazards waste.
The robotic unit gave students the opportunity to demonstrate high levels of knowledge through application. After the robots were completed, the reflective learning continued as the students looked at areas of difficulty with their designs.