LEARNING WITH MINDSTORMS
In preparation for this assignment I elected to bring the Mindstorms kit to the cold-face (the classroom) for its inaugural outing. We opened the kit together and examined its contents. It became almost immediately apparent who was going to be most comfortable with this learning tool and it wasn't me! The children set about the task with a sense of optimism and fun and without fear of failure. I, on the other hand, remained cautious. My own earliest formal learning experiences were not of a hands-on nature. This, coupled with my residual fear of anything technical, led to my being a hesitant participant.
showed the construction kit.
Note the enthusiasm on all the faces!
I explained the computing element of the system.
First, we installed the software on a laptop computer.
I used a data projector so the whole class could follow the steps.
We connected up the USB tower to the computer.
At last the children could get their hands on the bricks!
We checked that the tower was communicating with the RCX.
We checked the range of data transfer.
The signal was quite strong!
It was time for the training missions!
Many hands make light work!
But too many
I had to intervene to make sure all was done correctly.
Well, it looked just like the one on the directions!
We checked out its movement.
This is the
robot from another training mission.
It had a light sensor attached.
The robot turned when it came to the black line.
By now, I felt the children were ready to construct their own style of robot.
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