Students at Brown Intermediate School are getting ready for a race, a robotic car race that is. Through a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum, students in Mr. Ginsburg’s fifth grade class are learning how to program a robot to do various different tasks from play a game to race on a track.
Using a program called Sphero edu, students use a block coding program to teach the robot. Recently students programmed the robot to play the game hot potato and will build on those skills and others to eventually teach the robot to race.
“It all comes back to design so we talk about the design of logos and what goes into the process there, the design of mechanical engineering and how that works, the design of computer programming and how all that comes together to create one final project,” said Mr. Ginsburg.
Students will use mechanical engineering to design a paper car, an art program to create a logo for the paper car, and computer programming for the robot. Ginsburg said the project focuses on a number of different skills but also touches on the 21st century capacities students develop in Madison Public Schools.
“With our 21st Century capacities we focus on design and there is this collective intelligence because when the students start to do these programs, students run into problems and they aren’t going to get it on the first shot,” he said. “So we are going to talk about what works, what doesn’t work, and asking each other how students went about it so they realize there is multiple ways to do this and more than one person can be right while having completely different solutions.”
With the reconfiguration of Brown to a grade 4/5 school, all students will have a trimester of STEAM with Mr. Ginsburg.