We started the morning thinking about what computer control means, what engineering is and what an engineer does. We learnt that an engineer solves real world problems that improve the world around us. Al shared with us some of the work his company does and we realised that engineers do not get designs right first time! They solve problems by continually testing and improving their designs.
We then split ourselves into groups of 2’s and 3’s and made our 15-minute robot.
Challenge 1 – STOP (worth 20 points)
We had to start with our robots in the STEMworks box, program our robot to travel forwards in a straight line and stop with the 2 front wheels exactly on the black line at the stop sign.
Challenge 2 – PARK (worth 30 points)
We had to start with our robot in the STEMworks box, program our robot to travel forwards to the end of the mat, turn right, travel forwards and park the whole robot inside the other STEMworks box.
For the afternoon session we were given 4 different challenges. We had to complete as many of these, as accurately as possible, in the time given. Each challenge was worth a different number of points with 120 points in total up for grabs! We had to write and test each program. When each program was ready it was judged by Mo or Al and we were awarded points. We had to adapt our robots to complete these challenges. Some of the changes we made included adding sensors, adding lights, adding a push button and building scoops.
We had to start our robot on the coloured lines and program the robot to move forward until it sensed an object in front of it (using the sensor), reverse and then make it do something amazing (dance, turn it’s lights on, make sounds)
Challenge 2 – GOAL (worth 50 points)
Three balls were placed in the centre of the mat. We had to start our robot in the STEMworks box and program the robot to move into position and push the balls into the goal. The robot was not allowed to touch the goal – if it did points were deducted!
Challenge 3 – PUSH (worth 20 points)
We had to start with the robot in the STEMworks box and program the robot to push the 2 cups over the stop line. However we needed to program the robot to stop on the opposite side of the line.
Challenge 4 – DANCE (worth 20 points)
We had to start with the robot in the STEMworks box and program the robot to travel into the oval in the middle of the mat and perform a ‘dance’. The dance had to finish within the oval.
After additional points were awarded for team work and how well we dismantled and tidied our Lego all the points were added and the winning team announced.
To finish the day we thought about how many skills and subjects areas we covered in our day’s computing work. It was an extensive list which covered aspects of English, Maths, Science, PSHCE, and D.T. as well as computing skills and engineering skills!