How Building Robots Captivates Kids’ Imaginations (Is School Enough? Series)

How Building Robots Captivates Kids’ Imaginations (Is School Enough? Series)

>>Violet: I think school would be a
lot more engaging if we were asked to solve complex problems. Building a robot and seeing it run and seeing it complete tasks
is definitely more satisfying than any schoolwork I’ve ever done. Getting an A on the
test, that’s cool, but seeing something I have built with my own hands move
is way more satisfying.>>So I’ll try connecting
a one-ten-nine. I’ll put a jumper underneath.>>Man: Yeah, just don’t
overlap them, right? Start with three.>>Woodie: I think a
reasonable way to think about robotics is birthing a
machine that can be over there and do something that you
either taught it to do, or that you’re commanding
it to do now. But something that you
created that’s apart from you that does your bidding.>>Violet: So do you guys know how
to test a motor with a battery?>>Girl: Not really.>>Violet: Okay, here.>>So I grew up in a
really geeky family. My dad is one of those super geeks. He always showed me sci-fi
movies and so he’s the one who kinda showed me
into what robots are.>>Kjersti: You could do it like that,
or you could do it to the top here, so that way the hub
would be on the outside.>>It was something
completely new for me. It was something that I’d never
heard about before, especially heard about kids being able to do. And it was really hard,
which was something that was exciting for
me, a challenge.>>Woodie: One of the things that
makes robotics an ideal thing for young people to do is that that
child obeying the parent’s command is a real thrill. When you first see someone build
something and they get it together and then they wiggle the joystick. “Wow, it works, it works!”>>Violet: I think the fact that I’m
kind of a stubborn person contributed to me being a good robotics engineer. When I see a problem, I wanna find
a solution, I wanna figure it out. And if I run into a few
failures on the way, I’m not gonna let that
stand in my way. I’m gonna keep trying at it and keep
going until I’ve found a solution.>>Kjersti: Just feel over all of the
little cables back here to make sure that none of them are loose
or sticking out a little bit. Drive train, make sure that
none of the chains are off, ’cause that’s a problem
that we’ve encountered.>>Some of the ways that we’ve gotten
better at building robotics are just in very simple mechanical
ways, like being really good at constructing simple things
and knowing which screws to use in which situation, so that
things don’t fall apart later on when you’re using your robot. And then other things
are very elegant designs. You have to see the problem in
front of you and go through a bunch of different designs
before you get to the one that looks the best
and functions the best.>>So one of the main parts
of the game for this year is, you have to lift these
rings up to different pegs and put them on the pegs. We use pulleys that are
controlled by a winch. The lift comes up.>>We use rectangular tubing here, along with your average
drawer slides.>>The way this robot moves around
is the drive train right here,>>There’s a chain connecting
each of the motor to the wheels,>>We have two motors for each side,>>We have an IR, infrared seeker,>>This is what we call the brick,>>The NXT brick is where
all our programming goes, and it has wires going
up to all the sensors.>>The brick talks to the motors
and tells them to run essentially.>>I think that that’s
pretty much our robot.>>Violet: I would like you guys
to do, in this extra meeting time that we have, is try to see how
many challenges you can complete.>>After last year, I
started just looking back, thinking back to all the
effort I had put into robotics and all the time I spent doing it. And I realized how
much I had changed, how much I had grown
more confident in myself.>>Okay, so for how about right
now, you start from over here? And drive up and try to
balance on the bridge.>>I wanted to give
that to other people, so that’s why I started
mentoring robotics students, trying to get people to understand
why this is such a great thing.>>Kjersti: The first
thing I said to myself when I decided I was
gonna be a teacher was that I wasn’t gonna
give them any answers, and I wasn’t gonna build
the robot for them.>>Girl: Because one to six
was not fast enough, right?>>Kjersti: Yes.>>I try to be better at guiding them
towards an answer using their thought processes instead of
my thought processes.>>Check the sensor cables,
so just go over these guys. Just pretty much make sure
everything is plugged in and then–>>I’m teaching them
things, but more than that, I’m giving them a real
problem to solve and I feel like I’m really giving
them the skills to accomplish this certain problem.>>Man: All set?>>Announcer: Looks like we have the
checking now, all the teams are set for match number six,
here in Daly City.>>Woman: Controllers please.>>Woodie: There is a lot of
failure in robotics work, but it’s not total failure and
you don’t feel like a fool. When you’re going through the
loops, designing something, the first time you try it, it
probably didn’t work and what that teaches you is how to do the
next loop to get better and better.>>Announcer: You have
less than one minute left. Four-four-seven-five in
danger of tipping over.>>Kjersti: Learning the art of
failing is sort of a key aspect of robotics because if you don’t
know how to recover from the failure, then you’re not gonna
be able to build a robot that encompasses all those failures
and turns it into something beautiful that works really well
at what it does.>>Announcer: Six-zero-zero-one is
moving very fast, flipping to block.>>Woodie: If you follow textbooks
only, you think there’s a set of problems at the end of the
chapter that have unique answers. That’s very, very unlike real life. So learning about how to fail and bounce back is a fundamentally
important thing to know about life. And learning that the people that
come back and try again are the ones that are gonna get ahead.>>Announcer: And that’s a
match, great match everybody.>>All:>>Violet: I think that robotics
would be really good for those kids who just think school’s
a waste of time. I know a lotta kids
who are really smart, but get bad grades ’cause
they just don’t see the point, and with something like robots,
it’s so captivating and exciting and addicting, obviously, that I think it would engage people a
lot more and make people more willing to put more effort
into their schoolwork.

7 thoughts on “How Building Robots Captivates Kids’ Imaginations (Is School Enough? Series)”

  1. This is youth development at its best! Could you imagine peer educators training younger students to carry on a typical science class? No way! Yet here they are training younger students to carry on the robotics program. Very cool.

  2. Bravo to these students.  Learning at it's best.  Last year, we were a rookie VEX team and ended up 10th in the country.  This year, we are a first year FRC team. We knew how important it was to develop 7-9th grades, so we applied for the FTC robot also.  We identified a few 8th graders and already they are shadowing the older team.  So important to develop a deep bench.   

  3. OK
    I have been challenged for a comment I made that most Robotics courses have kids putting together kits or prefabricated parts. This video seems to reinforce my idea that Robotics classes are not about hands on fabrication, but taking something preformed by an Ed company. I see no "shop' settings in this video where students are sawing filing or carrying out any technical skills to achieve their goal. The occasional soldering iron in hand is not enough.

  4. Dang, these are pretty intense bots! We're using the Lego EV3 kits at my school. Just started a video series called 'Middle School Robotics' walking us through each week this semester. Not as complex as some of the ones shown here but still have kids saying 'I BUILT A ROBOT…AND THAT'S AWESOME!'

  5. Good. Students get learning by practice. Gain knowledge by experience. Understand lessons by visual demos. It is good feeling for all the students who get this kind of scope. Learning methods are innovate in todays' modern methods enabling students retain their knowledge for long time and ever cherishing experience. Only question is how many could get this kind of models, need to be see by the mass scale and cost effective methods by even governments across the developing nations.

  6. My 8 year old niece is interested in taking electronics apart and putting things back together. Is there something for kids in Washington DC?

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