Over the past year, Innovate Tech Camps has launched a module on Aerial Robotics which focused specifically on drones and drone technology.
Drones are amazing because they can do so much. Aerial media can be collected for industries, monitoring traffic, inspections of buildings, towers and bridges etc. Instead of making people climb up roofs and other dangerously high places, drones can be sent to take photos or conduct various inspections which is great progress. Technology should be used for dangerous jobs so that people do not have to take those risks.
At Innovate, students learn about drones, how they are used, why they are becoming important, how they work and other facts about drones. Plus, they learn how to handle drones and fly responsibly through set tasks.
Through Aerial Robotics, students understand the amazing things about drone technology and how this technology impacts the world and they start to think more deeply about the various industries that will greatly benefit from using drones – which is what innovation is all about.
One of the ways of teaching robotics in the classroom is to make robots tell the story. The Ozobot is one such engaging robot with a whole dose of fun in our STEAM classrooms.
Using visual code, the Ozobots can carry out specific tasks such moving faster, slowing down, line jump, u-turn and more all while telling a story (eg. Ozobot starts to slow down (snail dose code) when approaching the haunted house and runs away quickly (nitro boost code) when followed by a ghost!
Our Junior students have loved the Ozobot and the number of activities we have done over the past two terms especially when telling a story, because in a story, those visual codes become more powerfully etched in their memory, along with their growing knowledge of Ozobot.
In a snippet, we explain why we think a robotics education rocks!
Robotics is a very specialized field of study which encompasses a lot of learning with hands on activities. It is fun, engaging, complex and tests our patience to its limits, all in one breath. It makes us learn how to communicate and collaborate with others, builds our problem-solving skills and helps us learn many new ways of doing things.
Most importantly, we develop an open mind – open to various possibilities and this makes us adaptable to different scenarios – for real, there is a lot of that in robotics! Above all, we become better people because we build up our resilience when faced with various scenarios.
Hey, you become a solution finder and you become undaunted by problems – how great is that and it all starts in the classroom by first yelling “My robot doesn’t work!!” Don’t be afraid to ask for help and then be sure to set yourself on the solution pathway to solving the problem.
According to ISTE, the four C’s of education are Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Creativity.
This is 2017 learning, where students will not just be passive consumers of technology but actually understand why and how things work and how to make effective use of technology and enhance one’s learning.
These four C’s are more apparent in the academy than mentioned. Not only are kids and teens delving into robotics, they are doing far more than just playing with or programming a robot. They are learning (without knowing they actually are) about communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. By simply discussing ideas for their robotics projects or troubleshooting errors, they are working together with their team to find solutions to problems.
Thinking through the problems with a mindset geared towards a solution, collaborating with their team to ensure their robot works well and being creative with their solutions – makes a mind blowing experience (we don’t deny the tons of frustration involved, the communication malfunctions and series of little errors, of course!)
Yet, students tell of how much they are engaged in the classroom, their joys when they discover they could solve a problem, plus their frustrations when they could not and this makes for their reflective learning at Innovate Academy. We love the four C’s of education and continue to see them in the classrooms.
However, more than that, we also add on our core values such as patience, persistence and perseverance which students find essential in the 2017 classroom too (you need to have the three P’s too). They are never underrated.
The technology classroom is all very exciting and there is so much talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and getting students interested in STEM subjects.
The STEM classroom is a place where students get to explore, create and learn new skills along the way. The STEM classroom does not just encourage and promote innovation and creativity but also communication, respect, teamwork, responsibility, working within given budgets and resources, all while achieving classroom goals.
It sounds easy but it is not. Working through differences in ideas, working with different characters etc, these are all challenging areas which are frequently faced in the STEM classroom.
Students have to face these challenges in their future working world so it is good to get used to it in the STEM classroom. The students who do well are often those whose interests are supported and encouraged by their parents.
Let us encourage our children to pursue their interests today and while doing so, give them the space to create, learn, make mistakes and fail, all while in the safe and encouraging STEM classroom.
We, Team Innovate, would like to thank all our students, parents, primary and high schools under our programs and supporters for such an incredible year.
We’ve had 4 seasons of tech camps, weekly after school programs every term, launched Maker Days for kids, become the Official littleBits Melbourne Chapter, run 2 Vex IQ qualifier events, a Robo I Gather Challenge, a Vex Robotics Qualifier and finally the international Asia Pacific Robotics Championships and lots of scrimmages and other events in between.
All in all, we have now seen thousands of kids come into contact with STEM through our programs and events since we first started.
We congratulate our Australian teams for their great performance at the recent Asia Pacific Robotics Championships. Team 7479 of Hillcrest Christian College won the Judges’ Award, Team 10629A won the Inspire Award and our very newly formed team who took part in the Brain Development System Championships won the Invent Award! A great feat to win something at the Asia Pacific level since Australia has never participated at that level. Congratulations!
Thank you everyone for your support, encouraging words and for volunteering at our events. Another fantastic year has gone by and we look forward to meeting even more kids through our programs in 2016.
Till then, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year 2016!