Metal work students in Kilkenny City Vocational School have been enjoying their coding classes during the past year. We decided to take coding a step further by purchasing some programmable robotic kits.
Our junior cycle students firstly had to build their chosen robots from scratch, these were then programmed using “Blockly” code. This was an invaluable opportunity for our students to experience for themselves the task of program writing, downloading and enabling the Robot to carry out the challenge.
One challenge was: “To pick up a plastic bottle from a predetermined location and place it at another location”. This replicates a typical “pick & place” robotic operation utilised extensively in industry in particular in car manufacturing.
Research has found that from a learning perspective it is very beneficial for students to do any of the following:
- Work in groups,
- Complete design and make tasks
Relate academic learning to concrete examples
All three of the above teaching/learning strategies were achieved during this task, our students really enjoyed this task and participated with enthusiasm.