Critical thinking and logical reasoning are two of the key development skills that students should possess upon exiting High School technology programs. Electronics and programming are ideal subjects through which to develop these skills, as they engage both analytical thought and problem solving every step of the way. Learning to code also adds relevance for employment beyond High School. It is essential that we prepare the next generation’s graduates for a lifetime of achievement by readying them with 21st century skills.
Teaching Parallax robotics to students at a high school level offers the greatest flexibility in choice of educational kit and programming language. For beginners we offer the ActivityBot robot and BlocklyProp, our visual programming tool that transitions seamlessly to the text-based C language. We also have the Boe-Bot Robot paired with PBASIC, Parallax’s own BASIC programming language, or our Shield-Bot Robot for Arduino which accompanies the Arduino language and programming software. For classrooms looking into more advanced programming and electronics, we have mid-sized robotics kits like our Arlo Robot or our ELEV-8 V3 Quadcopter.
BlocklyProp is our approachable and versatile visual programming tool that needs no prior programming experience to get started with. We offer several kits for BlocklyProp that will fit into any High School classroom: the ActivityBot Robot Kit and Propeller FLiP Try-it Kit. The ActivityBot is a great method for transitioning your students from visual programming to C-language programming, as it offers fully-parallel BlocklyProp and C tutorials. The Propeller FLiP Try-it Kit uses collections of human interface devices and other sensors for experimentation and invention prototyping.
Depending on your kit choice, your students can learn about the basics of electronic control with sensors for light and distance measurements, keypads, LED circuits, and more. Each component in these kits has a special interface block or series of blocks in BlocklyProp that can be used on their own, or as part of a larger program. The option to view the C-language code underneath the blocks allows students to compare the visual program with the text-based program, providing opportunity to gradually introduce the next level of text-based programming concepts like syntax and structure. An understanding of C basics is essential for students looking to progress in technology through university and beyond.
Explore Advanced Robotics Education
If your classroom has moved beyond the basics, our mid-sized Arlo Robot and ELEV-8 V3 Quadcopter Kits offer a more in-depth look at robotics.
The Arlo Robot is a customizable wheeled platform that can carry up to 35lbs of payload, giving it limitless potential for expansion and application. You choose your microcontroller, you choose your programming language – we have online tutorials to get you started in C, Arduino, or PBASIC. The ELEV-8 V3 Quadcopter is our durable sUAS platform, thoughtfully-designed to make teaching the physics of flight an interactive process. Our online tutorials can be followed in series or re-ordered to suit your classroom learning style, and our free GroundStation software makes it easy to track all of the sensors available onboard its Parallax Flight Controller control board.
Whether they’re electronics beginners or intermediate/advanced programmers, Parallax robotics will prepare your students for their future careers with a strong foundation of 21st century skills. Let’s work together to outfit your classroom for success at every level.