Third, fourth, and fifth graders are currently programming and running robots. Middle school students who meet in the art room every Friday after school to work with robots built and tested the machines that the intermediate students are using.
The intermediate students write code for programming Lego Spike Prime robots with Lego Education Spike 3 software on their Chromebooks. They copy a general code framework that they must modify to make their group's robot run successfully. They typically need to make decisions about turning angles, motor speeds, and travel distances. Code is downloaded to the robots by Bluetooth from Chromebooks. These robots have catapults that shoot ping-pong balls.
The goal is to program the robot to drive autonomously from one location to another and then shoot a ping-pong ball through a hole in a Styrofoam board. Students are offered safety glasses in case they wish to put their head in the goal when the robot is shooting the ball. Once they can make a goal consistently, students begin to write code for the robot to return to base. If successful with that, the next challenge will be to pick up an object after shooting the ball and return to base with the object. Third, fourth, and fifth graders will be using the same robots during the next few weeks. The coding challenge is adjusted to fit each grade level. Students work in teams of 2-4 students. They are instructed to take turns and help each other.
These videos show 5th graders of the 5-Green and 5-Blue Art Tech class in action with their robots.