Taking on the roles of engineers and programmers, second graders constructed cooling fans and completed a series of challenges to have their designs come to life. As part of the lesson in K-5 technology specialist Carole Del Juidice’s class, they tinkered with LEGO pieces and hobby motors and used Bluetooth technology to connect their robotics constructions to their classroom iPads.
“This lesson was a fun way to expose students to robot parts, such as motors and sensors,” Del Juidice said. “It was also a great way to highlight what engineers and programmers do in today’s world. The LEGO WeDo’s gave all students a robotics experience.”
WeDo is a programming language, which the students built up to using through their previous experiences with the Scratch Jr. programming language. Throughout the year, the second graders have been learning how to create their own interactive digital stories and games using Scratch Jr. They were challenged to snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance and sing.
“Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves, then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life,” Del Juidice said. “This experience laid the foundational work that will help support them in their LEGO WeDo experiences.”
As part of the lessons, the students have been building on their skills of writing algorithms, sequencing, looping and debugging. Del Juidice said she hoped her students had fun and understood the meaning behind the word “grit.”
“We speak a lot about having a growth mindset and showing grit when we work,” Del Juidice said. “Some of my students struggled with the Bluetooth connections at first, but most importantly, not one LEGO group gave up. That to me is a successful day in technology.”