Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Innovation Stations

What do you do when your MOSS Robotics and Sphero Sprk+ kits arrive on your doorstep?
First, of course, you do a little happy dance!

Then you resist the urge to open the boxes until you are with your students.
This past weekend it was AGONY not to dive in. I held back as I know how awesome it is to open them up in the presents of the learners and ask, "What's possible with what's in these boxes?".

A little background - this past December I had the fortunate opportunity of attending the MISA Innovation day in London, On. Not only did I get to connect with inspiring educators and leaders from our region, I also had the chance to apply for some funding. My proposal for my 'FAB LAB' was excepted - enter the MOSS robotics and the Sphero Sprk+.

With these new additions to our FabLab, I wanted students to get their hands on them and explore the possibilities and document their initial thinking and wonderings. As I always say, with exploration comes the necessity for reflection.

So today we started our first round of Innovation Stations. Students were grouped in teams of 4 to explore elements of our FabLab. Some activities such as coding using Scratch and 3D designing/printing using TinkerCad and M3D are not new, but the innovation stations a challenge to use creativity and critical thinking in new ways.

See below for our thoughts and creations from our first day of Innovation Stations!



Scratch Station CANADA150 Challenge
One groups' first iteration: using a sprite as a host to their trivia game. Upon discussion they are searching for a more "Canadian" sprite. Also looking to add cumulative point scores. 

Creating a robot using proximity sensors. First attempt the robot moved haphazardly in circles. Debugging uncovered cubes in the incorrect orientation. 

Collaboration in action. 
Programming our new friend SPRK to run the course ... and back again!
MOSS team reflection: "Using MOSS is complicated but fun. Building our robot tells us what certain parts do and how it works. For example the proximity sensor measures how far or close to something it is. It is very enjoyable if complex and delicate, we hope to use it again soon."

Google Cardboard team reflection: "In google street view we travelled to Greece. In Greece we noticed that a lot of the landscape was made out of marble (ex. sidewalks). We also saw a lot of greenery. We also went to the liars bridge in Romania. We found out that all the buildings are painted in orange. Next we went to China. We were in some sort of a temple and the building was huge. Just before the session ended we traveled to the taj mahal in India."

The classroom was a buzz of activity this afternoon. It was my absolute pleasure to witness students collaborating, creating, and problem solving using these new innovative learning tools. I'm not sure where we are going next, but what I do know is that journey is richer and celebration sweeter when we put students in the drivers seat and provide experiences that are engaging and challenging.

1 comment:

  1. I just love Spheros in combination with Tickle on the iPad. It is one of the best ways I have seen to get kids started on coding. Thanks for sharing your insight.

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