A program that is both Fun and Educational?!? Not possible you say? Well in our Internet of Things Central Study, we make learning amazing, relevant, timely, and dare we say, FUN! Despite some student fears toward computer programming and electronic circuitry, we have been able to make digital technologies easier for everyone to embrace, by the use of Spheros and RC Drones.
Students created mazes (beginners level and advanced level), then programmed little robots (Spheros) to traverse the maze. It became a competition to see who could traverse the maze fastest, with the smallest number of bumps into the ‘walls’.
Year 10 and 11 students programmed these devices and had to learn how to connect to them, how to troubleshoot when there are tens of devices that use the same wavelength to connect, and how to convert timed duration to speed and rotation angle. They learnt about momentum firsthand and how speed impacts turning angles proportionally. Students had so much fun running Spheros over ramps, flying drones through hoops and kicking and shooting. One student stayed for one hour after school to make his Sphero run “perfectly” to achieve his fastest time.
One highlight would be that Olivia, who was quite apprehensive about this new subject, stated that she was “really bad at anything computers”. Five weeks later, Olivia has a huge smile on her face as her group programmed a winning Sphero! Furthermore, 2 weeks after this, Olivia is placing herself in a real Learning Pit, playing with Arduino programming, connecting various sensors to the breadboard and creating activities for other students!
Another highlight would be that Fin fell in love with the drones so much that he decided to help the school during the Science Alive @ Tonsley event (a week later) presenting the drones and Spheros to the wider community and teaching children as young as 7 to program the devices.
A program that is both educational and fun? Tick.