Monday, March 28, 2016

Pre-Kindergarten have fun with Cubelets at St. Albans City School

We have been studying magnets in pre-kindergarten and so the students were excited to see the magnetic blocks BUT then the power turned on and it blinked and moved.  We were amazed and had so much fun seeing what the Cubelets could do.   

Cubelets Meets Kindergarten Educators

Cubelets visited the Vermont Kindergarten Conference this past Friday and participated in the Coding, Robots and Computational Thinking Workshop.  Educators at this workshop were give the Cubelet blocks and ask to figure out what they were.  The discussion was fabulous and a lot of collaboration took place.  They explored what would happen if blocks were taken out or arranged differently.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Introducing Ferris, a WINK robot from Plumgeek

"Ferris" a Wink robot from PlumGeek Software
Meet Ferris.  Ferris is actually the Wink robot from PlumGeek Software.  The Wink robot has been designed to introduce programming to people who are interested as an entry point to learn how to write code and for experienced coders alike.  Using the Arduino IDE open source platform, code can be written to activate a host of exciting features that are built into the robot. These features include blinking RGB lights, actuators for movement, proximity sensors for obstacle detection, light sensors for following light and line detection and for some Winks, a IR remote to control those behaviors.

I named my robot Ferris, because I had some challenges getting him to school each day.  The challenge of setting up reminded me that sometimes Ferris just needed a day off.  Now that I've broken him in, he's been pretty dependable and can do some exciting things.

The first hurdle has been introducing the Arduino programming to High School students who've never written code in the Arduino environment.  PlumGeek has helped bridge the gap by providing a series of usable lesson plans and pre-loaded behaviors available for download on their website.

Fortunately, I've been working with a couple of classes at the Center for Technology in Essex.  The Computer Systems technology class and PreTech classes have been able to play with Ferris.  We've started doing basic coding, like learning how the lights operate, adjusting Ferris eyes to blink, change colors and emit different light levels.  I'm working with a student at the moment on obstacle detection, which Ferris is really good at.  The light detection sensor is very good, as Ferris seems to have a strong will to find a nice sunny space to relax in (don't we all).  Here's a little of Ferris in action (my dog does not care for Ferris - you might hear her whine).
Will Bohmann
Educational Technology Integration Specialist
Center for Tecnology - Essex

Friday, March 18, 2016

Peoples Academy loved Sphero

We were sad to ship Sphero off to the next school but we had lots of fun learning to code with him!

Thank you Robot Rodeo VT for such a fun and engaging learning experience for our students!

Shannon DeSantis
Library Media Specialist
Peoples Academy Middle School

Friday, March 11, 2016

Scribbler 2 Drew a Star and Decagon at Founders Memorial

Students in Mr. White's 4th grade class programmed the Scribbler2 to draw a star and a decagon. 

​Here is the Decagon!

Here is the Star!

Colleen Williams
Technology Integration Specialist
Authorized Google Education Trainer
Essex Town School District

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

First Graders at St. Albans City School Meet Cubelets

We have brainstormed a lot of names already:  Tiny Tim, Battlefront Bot, Star Minecraft, Q2, and Little Smart are some of the front runners.  It might be hard to decide on just one!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fletcher students revising code for Sphero

Emily DiGiulio
Fletcher Elementary School
340 School Rd.
Cambridge, VT 05444
(802) 849-6251

Sphero takes on the Fibonacci Spiral at Fletcher Elementary

This week, 5th and 6th grade students at Fletcher Elementary worked on programming the Sphero to follow the Fibonacci Spiral. Students used the Tickle app in the classroom to code connected squares that form a spiral shape.

Emily DiGiulio
Fletcher Elementary School
340 School Rd.
Cambridge, VT 05444
(802) 849-6251

Students at Moretown School program BB8 to go through a maze!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dash and Dot Welcomed at Colchester Middle School

Sydney and Emily explore what Dot can do

Sphero Meets Peoples Academy Middle School

R2 Read 2 arrived right before Peoples Academy Middle School went on their extended winter break! Students had just enough time to start tinkering with our Sphero robot and learning what it can do. Our 7th grade students have been using their coding skills and the Tickle app for programming. We've taught R2 Read 2 some awesome tricks along the way- jumping and spinning across the library! (Video coming soon!) We are excited to continue learning and mastering our coding skills this month! Stay tuned...