The initial stage of our week was taking responsibility for our equipment. We each had our own box of Mindstorm and it was great to see 9 and 10 year olds monitor each piece of their equipment responsibly and demonstrate very mature organisational skills.
A huge thank you to the Alexanders who came in to help make sure that we could pass our sets on to the next class, confident that we had left them as complete as we found them.
After the students had built the initial ‘rover’ they could connect it to a computer and use a programming language (very similar to Scratch) to change the picture on the display, make sounds and move the rover around. The program set the children harder and harder challenges, which involved adding sensors to the rover to make it respond to lights, sounds and by the end of the week they could even play football!
It was lovely to see the children complete the challenges, and also watch them support each other and explain steps using technical vocabulary. Experts in different areas quickly emerged and the class worked really well together to make sure no one was confused or left behind.
There is also room, once the students were confident with coding, to let them follow their own interests: Ozan’s rover managed three point turns and accurate parking, which would put many Shanghainese drivers to shame, while Lorenzo and Eirik’s could hunt people down and greet them by name.
Wilmer’s ran away from him any time he made a loud noise and Jazmin’s hid in the shadows when lights came on. Kaya’s danced as she sang karaoke. We had an absolute ball, and I was so impressed with the sophistication of the code the children wrote independently.
Alex even programmed his to chase his teacher. Well done Alex...I think.
- Helen McMullen, Year 5 Class Teacher