|The RoboTEC project explores the ways how 11 – 12 year old kids build and program LEGO MINDSTORMS robots. The programming activities take place during the RoboTEC SUD workshop which is organised by the regional municipal agency proSud in collaboration with the National Research Fund (FNR) and SnT University of Luxembourg).|
During three weeks in June, the RoboTEC Sud workshop welcomes classes from Luxembourg fundamental school for a 4 to 6 hour training activity. The objective is to stimulate kids’ interests about technology, ICT, robots and basic programming by proposing playful, creative and inquiry-based experimentation tasks to the kids.
Working in pairs, the students strive to move their NXT robot across a circuit or to perform a specific task by composing an appropriate program on the NXT-G programming platform. This environment is a specific version of the professional programming environment LabView (http://www.ni.com/labview) from National Instruments. Kids download the program i to the NXT bloc using a USB cable and then immediately check if their robot is able to perform the actions as conceived by the students. Frequent adaptations are necessary until the robot finally runs fully autonomously across the circuit. Instead of directing the robots via pre-programmed actions only, students also learn to use sensors so that the robots interact with the given environment to take input, to process data and to signal output to the motors, e.g. turning motors on and off.
DICA-lab runs the RoboTEC sud workshop with the help of student assistants. Researchers document the students’ inquiry processes through video data.
|Prof. Dr. Charles Max