Using micro:bits and Maqueen robotics as a way of exploring areas of Computational Thinking is one of the best 'fun' lessons I currently teach. It is a great 'leveller' as all of the students I have done this with will gain successful results in a relatively short space of time and also gain a sense of achievement as a result.
In these lessons, I take the students through the basics of how the Maqueen can move forwards, backwards, left, and right through discovery and self reflection.
Challenge 1 - Using the Maqueen robot to drive around a set track
I encourage students to work with others and try the different methods until they get the result they were looking for to solve the problem. From here, the students are set a challenge to drive their robot in a set path.
Challenge 2 - Use Maqueen to follow a line using IR sensors
The next challenge for the students is to use the knowledge they have learned to drive their Maqueen robot around a track using the infrared sensors. As part of the lesson, I introduce the electromagnetic spectrum as a way to place in context where infrared fits into the bigger picture. This conversation is a great way to incorporate ideas across the curriculum and reinforce Science concepts to my students.
The students are given the instructions and have to carefully construct the code. From there, they can test if they have been successful.
Some of the students were curious to know if they could make their own track using paper and pen.
The students wanted to know if the line needed to be a solid colour or a specific colour. We used different coloured tape to test out their hypotheses. This facilitated a discussion which I have captured below.
Overall, the learning conversations have been phenomenal and I have been pleasantly suprised as to the depth of the discussions happening in each class.
Posted: Sunday 5 June 2022