Exploration that moves forward, spins and fetches
Dec. 15, 2016
Tyler enjoys using LEGOs to “make trucks and things that move.” As a member of the Duanesburg Elementary School LEGO Robotics Club, the 4th grader can now tell his little plastic brick creations when and how to move. Tyler is one of nine club members who are taking their love of LEGOs to a higher level by learning robotics using the LEGO Mindstorms kit.
“The best part of our club is that students can actually go explore and figure things out,” said Michael Gauthier, LEGO Club advisor and Duanesburg High School technology teacher. “I give them a little bit of guidance and let them go for it.”
A recent visit to the club found the children learning how to use software to string commands together and program their LEGO robotic vehicles move forward, turn, spin and pick up objects. As seasoned LEGO users at home, they said were having fun learning new skills to “build robots,” “make cool stuff,” and “make things that move.”
Sometimes LEGO play at home happens on the sly. “My brother has tons of LEGOs, and I build houses with them,” said one LEGO Club member. “Here the best part is learning robotics.”
The excitement isn’t lost on Gauthier. “I made models with LEGO when I was a kid,” he said. “including a lot of rubber band-powered stuff – boats, race cars and things like that. I wish they had the robotics kit then.”
LEGO Robotics Club is one of a number of afterschool activities that challenge students’ minds and creativity. For more information, visit the Elementary School page at www.duanesburg.org.