A supply list, a shopping ledger, one motor that worked as a lever, one motor that vibrated and one LED light – these were the things that Ms. Kostley’s fifth grade class were given to work on their robotics projects throughout the month of November. Each class incorporated these items into a diorama model about Thanksgiving. Ms. Kostley’s fifth graders theme was a Thanksgiving dinner and she incorporated math and science by having them build a budget for their Thanksgiving dinner, and then design the layout as well. Her students even worked with their English teachers and created invitations to the Thanksgiving dinner.
Once Ms. Kostley’s projects were complete they presented them to the class across the hall, Mrs. Licata. These presentations were similar to those of the Epic Build Showcases because they used a similar coding system, but instead of presenting the projects to the parents they presented them to their peers. They each got a minute and thirty seconds and there were approximately 15 stations for Ms. Kostley’s class. In their presentation they introduced themselves and described where their motors and lights were. Their presentation also may have included things like; who they were inviting to their dinner, what their favorite parts of the project were and what the biggest challenges of the project might have been.
Ms. Kostley and Mrs. Licata hope the students noticed how many different variations of the same idea their peers came up with. Between their two classes there were almost fifty projects and not one project looked the same. One group used the vibrating motor to represent Jell-O while another used it as a vibrating chair. One group used the motor that worked as a lever as a dog that was eating its food while another group used it as bird outside a window. Still in the other class there were a couple groups that created actual turkeys for their diorama where the motors were the tails or the wings and the lights were the eyes. One group said their biggest challenge was creating chairs that were sturdy enough to support the dolls that they brought in as their people while another group of boys said the biggest challenge for him was getting a hang of the glue gun and not getting burnt!
Ms. Kostley and Mrs. Licata weren’t the only ones that were using Thanksgiving in their robotics projects this year; the other side of the school’s fifth graders were using Ozo Bots with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade theme. Some of them created famous NYC landmarks while others used their bots as the puppets in the parade. Later in the year Ms. Kostley and Mrs. Licata will switch with the other side of the building and they will incorporate their Ozo Bots into some sort of themed project, similar to what they’ve done with the Thanksgiving theme.
Ms. Kostley says that each year they integrate robotics across the curriculum with various projects. This year, they integrated the Hummingbird Robots within a project-based Thanksgiving math project. In previous years, students used the robotics in Science class to explain the process of pollination, illustrate deforestation's effects on the world, and describe the implications of climate change. Furthermore, the Hummingbird Robotics have been used to display student-created Macy's Thanksgiving Day floats and interactive gingerbread houses, which tied into their ELA classes.
Canon-McMillan School District is thrilled that the coding skills that were learned in the Epic Build Showcases are continuing at the Intermediate level and can’t wait to see what unique projects Cecil Intermediate comes up with next!