Programming the S2 Robot for Middle School Robotics Programs (half-day)
This hands-on course shows how middle school teachers can use the S2 robot to introduce programming concepts using a graphical user interface. The S2 robot provides a very convenient way of demonstrating conditional logic, interaction of velocity and time with mechanical systems, and programming for motor control, light following, line following, object avoidance with infrared, stall sensors and music.
Because the S2 Robot is pre-built, it can be used on a day-in, day-out basis in middle school classes where both class time and attention span are limited. The approach lays an effective foundation for the next steps in robotics that students will encounter in high school. These next steps include programming in BASIC or C and building their own mechanical systems, such as the Parallax Boe-Bot robot or Propeller robot.
Activities & Discussion
- Logistical considerations, such as managing the computers and students (laptops vs. computer lab use), installing the software, simple troubleshooting and arranging the room for competitions.
- Using the S2 "Robots for Beginners" Student Workbook and Instructor's Guide, both of which are freely available.
- Programming the robot for dead-reckoning, spirograph artwork, obstacle course navigation, light following, line following (both white on black, and black on white lines).
- Applying STEM concepts in robotics.
- Handling a variety of capabilities and skill levels in the same classroom.
Prerequisites & Equipment
No electronics or programming experience is required. S2 robots will be supplied at the class. Attendees need to bring their own laptops; Windows or Mac with VMFusion is required.
Scheduling & Registration