Build a Bot 25th – 29th June

Build a Bot

Working in groups of 3 programming and adjusting the robot.

On Monday 25th June, a group of six learners at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School started a week-long Lego robotics course called Build a Bot. The course, which is in its second year of operation, encourages learners to apply what they’ve learned in science, math, and technology classes in an engaging, hands-on, and fun way.

During the week, the learners build multiple robots, discovering some of the basic tenets and challenges of engineering along the way (such as how to use scaffolding to improve stability and how to use gears to transfer power). They also accomplish a series of both simple and complicated tasks by programming their robots using visually stimulating software, thus encouraging them to think logically and deliberatively about what steps are involved in performing certain actions.

Build a Bot 2

Nyameko, Ngayeka & Sabelo doing a little programming

After three days, the learners have built a total of nine robots, programmed them to trace out a square and a Christmas tree design, and even learned how to use robotic sensors to navigate an obstacle course. While the program has undoubtedly been challenging, the participants rose to the occasion and demonstrated great perseverance, creativity, and teamwork in working with tools entirely new to them.

For the next two days, the learners will be refining their programming and engineering skills and writing more complex code to allow their robots to perform more interesting tasks. It has, indeed, been a fruitful journey so far, and I anticipate the last few days of the program will be equally if not more rewarding for these hardworking learners.

Written by Vinay Trivedi-Parmar. 27th June 2012.

Inkwenkwezi Secondary School

1. Andisiwe Mahlafana
2. Nyameko Skoti
3. Zezenkosi Hintsa
4. Ngayeka Yongama
5. Sabelo Sifuba
6. Wendy Blom

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