St. Margaret's Episcopal School
San Juan Capistrano, California
Grade level(s) or classroom focus:
11-12, Introduction to Engineering
What are the main learning objectives in your course(s)?
The year-long course meets for 50-minute classes, 4 times a week for 30 weeks. We use the following textbooks by Andy Lindsay: Robotics with the Boe-Bot, Understanding Signals with the PropScope, IR Remote for the Boe-Bot, and What's a Microcontroller.
The first semester is Boe-Bot assembly, programmed navigation, tactile navigation, light-sensitive navigation, IR Remote Controlled Boe-Bot, use PropScope to see Pulse Width Modulation and RC time curves, Controlling Motion of Standard Servos and assembly of the Gripper Kit for the Boe-Bot.
Second semester, the student teams will choose an engineering projects, such as animatronics, hovercraft propulsion, data transmitted from a launch of a G powered rocket, GPS navigated Boe-Bot with DC Motors, FIRST Tech Challenge Ring-It Up, etc.
Describe the experience for you and your students.
- Building the robot on day one.
- Writing code that they can manipulate.
- Give a set goal and then having the team of 2 or 3 students come up with a solution.
Which Parallax items do you use in your course?
- Boe-Bot Robot Kit
- Basic Stamp Activity Kit
- Gripper Kit for the Boe-Bot
- Understanding Signals with the PropScope
- IR Remote for the Boe-Bot
- QTI, and a lot of other sensors
What is your favorite Parallax product and why?
The ELEV-8 quadcopter. It opens up more possibilities. I would like to see ways to make it safer for the students and programmable. I do like that it can be expanded to make octa design. I would like to see the kit for the tri-hexa configuration.
Any tips for other teachers?
- Build the Boe-Bot on day one.
- Program the robot to go around a box.
- Assemble tactile sensors and program conditional statements.
- Use the IR sensor and "Sony" Remote for a remote controlled robot.
- Assemble the gripper for the Boe-Bot.
- Use the IR remote to move an object using the gripper from location to another.
- Have the students show this off at a school-wide assembly