In Robotics, the Kindergarten students learned that we have robots in our home right now! A robot is a machine that does a job for us but some tasks are built into the machine so we simply turn it on and it does the job for us, sensing things, running programs, and doing work that might be otherwise boring or dangerous. Some examples of robots in the home include the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and smoke detector.
We learned that robots require a program to be written to dictate the work of that robot. A washing machine contains a program that tells it to fill to a certain line with water, indicate when the water reaches this level, start the agitator, stop the agitator, spin very quickly, empty the water, refill the water to the same line again, begin the agitator again, stop the agitator again, and finally spin and empty the water a last time. What a detailed program!
In keeping with our "Flower Power" learning, we recognize that flowers are produced for sale all over the world. Flower growing is serious business. In class, it was fun to plant bulbs of the hyasinth and narcissus. But what is we had to fill fields and fields with tulip bulbs to supply the spring tulips to Sobey's or Superstore? That would become boring and a robot would be a huge help in this task.
Our first step in creating such a robot was to explore how our Robotics group could work together in building a strong chassis which is the robot's body. It needs to be strong because it holds the motor, RCX box and sensor. We explored with all sizes and shapes of chassis in our groups. Not all of the chassis worked; some required the group to rethink their plan. Robotics is all about working successfully in a group. This means taking turns, ensuring even those who do not ask for a job are given an important task to carry out in that Robotics period.