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Cubelets Activity – 10 Cool things to do with Cubelets!

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  • #1368
    Christie Veitch
    Participant

    For kids, parents, and robot enthusiasts who have Cubelets, have played with them, and wanted some inspiration to help jump start their creativity in making cool robots, here’s a fun way to get started:

    http://web2.modrobotics.com/edu/10CoolThingsToDoWithCubelets.pdf

    This activity progresses from simple single-sense, single action robots to more complicated ones. At every prompt, we know there is more than one possible robot “solution.” At the end of this document, you’ll find pictures of some possible solutions but don’t let this limit you, and don’t peek before you give it a try yourself!

    Once you’ve had some time to try these ideas, please let us know what your ideas for cool Cubelets creations are – we can’t wait to hear from you!

    #1567
    Cheryl Long
    Participant

    As part of a museum outreach program between The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA and a neighboring school system, I am currently using Cubelets as an outreach program with inner city, minority students. The response has been AMAZING! I love the fact that they are easy to use (and transport). I am able to teach so much in a 55 min period. We touch on “communities”, magnets, current events (I shared about Amazon’s ideas to use drones for delivery) and the roles of robots….(.I also weave in A LOT of problem based learning) it’s endless! I start by discussing robots and then we go in to some guided practice on what the cubelets are possible of. I took the lesson plan and created a powerpoint to guide the students as we go. I allow for some Problem based learning opportunities by letting the students discover on their own how the cubelets know what to do and what exactly they are sensing. I know that suggestions were posted in the lesson by age and grade level, but I approached it as building and I had the students progress through them all so that they would have something to build on. So, I have them pick up the flashlight, the brightness sensor ( I refer to it as the “Cyclops” as it has “one eye” and I want them to figure out on their own what it senses), and the battery. I have turned out the lights in the room or faced them toward a back wall with less light, so that they can see that it is sensing light. We then switch out with the distance sensor. Again, I don’t give away them name, I refer to it as the black cube with “2 eyes”. We then do some exploring as to what it is sensing. We continue on with the lesson, switching out for the wheels, making the cubelets be “aggressive”, “afraid” and “confused”. I try to keep this at about 20 minutes so that have lots of time to explore. I then demo some of what the expansion pack can do. Each table then gets a set, and the students are then tasked at working in groups to build a working robot with cool parts. The students have never had a lot of opportunity to do much of this. However, I am seeing lots of success and recently we had a 8th grade girl come running up to us after class who was so excited and shared that she didn’t know that anything like this even existed! What a testament to a great hand on, minds on product!

    #1603
    Christie Veitch
    Participant

    Cheryl,

    We are so excited to be working with museums, and school outreach programs like yours. Out-of-school education is a great forum for demonstrating the power of hands-on learning for students and thus bringing it back into our classrooms.

    I love the ways in which you’ve used some of our activities and then nudged the students to take it further. Connecting this to current tech topics of conversations, and communities, while also having the students progress through open-ended challenges and giving them the opportunity to define their own creative challenges is really exciting! We’ve seen that giving students some “free-time” after they’ve been following a lesson plan or activity produces some amazing results. I see students (of all ages!) transferring what they’ve learned to a new creative robot goal in ways I would never have imagined. It sounds like you’re seeing some of that motivation and continued engagement too.

    Thanks for sharing not just positive success in using our lesson plans activities, but how you’ve modified them to work best for your venue and students! When I write an activity or lesson plan, I always want the teacher or instructor using it to have the option of following it exactly if that best facilitates their class and workshop. But, I’ll be honest, I presume that many approach it the way I think of a recipe – a guide that encourages you to change it to your exact liking! I’m so glad you did and told us about it!

    Please keep us posted as you try more things – I know others will benefit from hearing what worked well for you.

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