I walked past the STEM Lab today and heard a lot of chatter and saw students working in groups on something that looked HUGE, COOL, and like PROGRAMMING/CODING coming to life. I walked in to find collaboration and genuine engagement over a challenge projected on the board: Can I create a maze to get out of the haunted house for a friend to try and complete?
I thought, surely, our fifth graders could not be experimenting with coding and video game design. I was wrong!
Our fifth graders were beginning to experiment with the Ozobot Classroom Kit – recently funded by our Foundation. The Ozobot Classroom Kit includes small programmable robots that follow student-created paths drawn with code markers.
Students learn basic coding and patterns through studying and experimenting with Ozocode Sheets that outline how to write color sequences that tell Ozobots to behave in a variety of manners (speed, direction, cool moves, wins/exits, timers, counters). They worked in groups to create a large-scale paper maze on graph paper while deciding the paths and actions the robots/Ozobots should take. This challenge required planning, communication, problem solving, teamwork, game theory, trial and error, and higher order thinking skills.
Our goal in the STEM Lab is to encourage innovation, increase hands-on experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that foster higher order thinking skills in conjunction with social interactions, and to engage in real-world problem solving.
Our Foundation’s vision of ENRICH. EMPOWER. EXCEL. is clear in the STEM Lab with incredible support through the funding of cutting-edge tools…including robots! We can’t wait to see what is achieved in the STEM Lab this year!
See The Ozobot Classroom Kit in action in Fifth Grade:
Thank you, Mt. Bethel Elementary School Foundation!