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Lego Education Launching New Robot Learning System For Kids.

January 6th, 2016 No comments

From: VentureBeat
Date: Jan 4, 2016

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Lego Mindstorms robots have done wonders getting kids interested in science and programming. Now Lego Education is launching a new robot learning system, dubbed WeDo 2.0, to help teach kids about engineering, technology, and coding.

The Lego Education WeDo 2.0 system is a combination of hardware and software that gives elementary school children more than 40 hours of hands-on projects.

Lego Education, a division of Denmark’s Lego, unveiled the system at the 2016 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. The robot itself is a wireless, tablet-ready system that is designed for a younger crowd. The company’s Lego Mindstorms robots are targeted at middle school and high school students, who use them to build robots that can complete tasks and win competitions.

The lessons correlate to educational standards in physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering. The lessons are designed to motivate students (in second through fourth grades) to solve real-world science problems.

Lego says that students can use WeDo 2.0 to explore, create, and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program, and modify projects. Teachers receive support through training, curriculum, and built-in assessment. There are eight guided projects and eight open-ended projects.

Here’s the robot that comes with the Lego Education WeDo 2.0 system.

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In the “Drop and Rescue” project, students have to design a device to reduce the impacts of a weather-related hazard on humans, animals, and the environment. Students can prototype solutions where there isn’t just a single right answer.

“Teachers know that science and technology skills are crucial for today’s elementary school students, but providing engaging projects that mean something in the real world is a challenge,” said Jeffrey Marlow, a geobiologist at Harvard University and founder of The Mars Academy education and development program, in a statement.

Other projects let students discover the surface of Mars with a model rover, or explore the Amazon rainforest through frog metamorphosis.

“These science lessons do more than just teach students facts to memorize,” Marlow said. “They represent an immersive experience that instills a deeper understanding of the scientific method and evidence-based reasoning.”

The platform includes a Bluetooth low-energy Smarthub element; an electronic building brick that is part of the LEGO Power Functions (LPF), a new technology platform for LEGO Education; and one motor, one tilt, and one motion sensor. It also includes the WeDo 2.0 Core software, which lets kids program through a drag-and-drop graphical user interface.

Lego Education WeDo 2.0 is available today on iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. Chromebook support will be available in the second half of 2016. The WeDo 2.0 Core Set plus software sells for $160. The WeDo ReadyGo 24 Student Class Pack sells for $2,260, and the WeDo YouCreate 24 Student Class Pack sells for $1,930. The YouCreate bundle does not include the extended software, which includes the curriculum pack.

The first WeDo 1.0 system launched in 2009.

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Robot Competition List

January 4th, 2016 No comments

Found a wonderful summary of K-12+ competitions at http://robotics.nasa.gov/edu/matrix.php. Check it out.

ASEE Talks

December 31st, 2015 No comments

More for me than general consumption, but the link below is for a series of talks at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Technology Leadership Institute (ETLI) that I wanted to keep:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=asee+etli+2013

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Ozobot

December 30th, 2015 No comments

Just ran across an ad for a robot I haven’t seen before: Ozobot.

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Looks to be geared towards teaching kids programming.

More info at: http://shop.ozobot.com/

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Quantum Computers Explained

December 30th, 2015 No comments

This video explains why we have reached the end of Moore’s Law and what Quantum Computers are and how they work.

Categories: Computing, Teaching Technology Tags:

Hour of Code 2015

December 19th, 2015 No comments

Published on Nov 16, 2015

Computer science is a foundational field that opens doors for all boys and girls. Starring Sheryl Sandberg, Jasmine Lawrence, Karlie Kloss, May-Li Khoe, Mia Epner, Alice Steinglass, Jess Lee, Jessica Alba, Paola Mejía Minaya, Malala Yousafzai, and Susan Wojcicki.

Start learning at http://code.org/

Categories: Computing, Teaching Technology Tags:

UC Davis Releases Free Tools for Teaching Robotics

October 18th, 2015 No comments
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Inspire Her

February 19th, 2015 No comments

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Play-I Robot to help kids learn to program

October 28th, 2013 No comments

Check out the Mars rover these two girls built in their garage

August 2nd, 2013 No comments

From: VentureBeat
August 1, 2013 6:04 PM
Jolie O’Dell

We just love stories like this.

Two sisters, 11 and 13, have built a Mars rover in a workshop in their family’s garage.

Camille and Genevieve Beatty have also been invited to the New York Hall of Science to show off their rover as part of a special exhibit on astronomy. The rover will roam around a mini-Martian landscape and analyze rocks with hidden heat lamps embedded inside.

Here’s a gallery and demo clip:

The girls also worked with their dad to build software to control the rover.

Its innards contain more than 700 components, including electrical and mechanical apparati.

The 13-year-old Camille revealed in a recent interview how the project got its start:

When I was 11, I started taking apart calculators, clocks, and TV remote controls to see what was inside. My dad asked me if I wanted to build something myself. We started out creating simple circuits on a breadboard to light up LEDs. Then my dad asked, “What do you want to build next?” and I said, “A robot!” We started out really basic at first and learned as much as we could. I’m 13 now and I’m in 7th grade. We’ve built all sorts of rolling, crawling, flying, beeping, blinking robots.

Check out the Beatty family blog for a step-by-step look at how the project took shape.

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