Automation with Pro-bot

Greens Farms Academy

reblog:http://www.terrapinlogo.com/custstories/greensfarmsacademy.php

Pro-Bot Drawing Program

35 Beachside Avenue
Westport, CT 06880
http://www.gfacademy.org/

Josh Burker, Lower School Coordinator of Academic Technology

Pro-Bot

Pro-Bot DrawingJosh Burker, Lower School Coordinator of Academic Technology at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Connecticut, uses Pro-Bots with third grade students who learn to program in Logo. This year, Mr. Burker started teaching Logo with Pro-Bots instead of the computer. Past experience showed that Pro-Bots helped students better understand what “left 90” means and looks like: Pro-Bot makes the concepts fundamental to Logo much more obvious to students learning to program.

The students spent two months learning to program Pro-Bots. They start by “putting themselves in the turtle’s shoes” and literally walking in a square. They are then asked to explain the process they went through to walk in a square. They then try to get Pro-Bot to drive in a square.

Pro-Bot DrawingOnce the students created a square procedure, some attempted additional polygons. They experimented with creating a shape and repeating the shape while rotating Pro-Bot. Another challenge the students participated in was programming Pro-Bot to drive a road and to stay within the boundaries of the road. Finally, some students programmed leaf shapes that they had the ProBot draw in honor of the fall colors.

Mr. Burker stated that using Pro-Bots with his students showed “Pro-Bot is a great introduction to the LOGO programming language but is powerful enough to allow further, deeper discovery and programming techniques.”

Pro-Bot Drawing Pro-Bot Drawing Pro-Bot Drawing
Pro-Bot Drawing Pro-Bot Drawing Pro-Bot Maze

Inspiring Maths Educators

1. Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians

This is another initiative from the brilliant Oxford Professor.  He has groups of enthusiastic maths students geared up to go out to provide shows mainly at educational institutes.  At the moment these are provided free with expenses being remunerated.

Another of Marcus du Sautoy ideas was Maths in the City.  I think this is no longer being supported, however their is a wealth of ideas on the website to support the idea of maths int he city.

http://www.mathsinthecity.com/

2.  Inspire Your Teenagers with a Maths Show

http://www.mathsinspiration.com

Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations. Our shows are exceptional value for money, with ticket prices in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 set at no more than £7 (which is just £5.80 if you reclaim VAT).

3.Maths Road shows

http://www.mmp.maths.org/roadshow

The milenium project at Cambridge produced not only nrich but also a series of roadshows for schools.  These are not free but are well regarded.

4. Techniquest Maths Kit

Available for hire from techniquest Wales

5. The mathematical Museum Germany

Germany http://www.mathematikum.de/

6. Maths Museum New York

http://momath.org/gallery/

If you cannot get there, take a look at the pictures for inspiration.

7.Stem with robots

http://www.stemwithrobots.com

This is a fantastic way to explore logic, maths and technology in a safe workshop environment.  Gary Redrup is a recognised leader in LEGO robots for learning and his courses are  extremely well attended.

8. Maths Midway Tours

This is a festival maths ideas which can be rolled out to a large audience.  I particularly like the hamronograph which takes the sound wave pattern and converts it into a drawing ( I think )

9. Maths in a Suitcase

http://www.mathsinasuitcase.co.uk

This is run by Selwyn van Zeller who guarantees to give the students a completely engaged experience of Maths.

10. The Experimentarium: Mathematics Denmark

This is a science explore centre with some useful maths exhibitions.

11. Exploratorium

http://exs.exploratorium.edu    US

This is San Fransico based exploration centre with  perhaps the biggest range of maths equipment on display.

12. Maths Mondays

http://momath.org/mathmonday/

This site contains some great art and maths projects from the New York Museum of Maths

13. Mathcraft

Making craft from maths.  The biggest collection on the web spanning origami to Minecraft.

14. Andre Jefferies

http://www.andrewjeffrey.co.uk/products.asp

Great magic shoes to inspire the wonder in maths

15. Ben Sparks

http://www.bensparks.co.uk

Ben is an experienced teacher who gives a range of great talks around maths.

16.Bubblz

http://www.bubblz.co.uk/

Stunning clowning and balloons with Maths at the very heart of it.  These workshops are bookable all round the UK.

17. Creative Learning

http://creativestarlearning.co.uk/c/maths-outdoors/

Juliet Robertson is one of the most active practitioners of  outdoor learning.  She is passionate about Maths and has many brilliant examples on her website

Inspiring Educators

1. Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians

This is another initiative from the brilliant Oxford Professor.  He has groups of enthusiastic maths students geared up to go out to provide shows mainly at educational institutes.  At the moment these are provided free with expenses being remunerated.

Another of Marcus du Sautoy ideas was Maths in the City.  I think this is no longer being supported, however their is a wealth of ideas on the website to support the idea of maths int he city.

http://www.mathsinthecity.com/

2.  http://www.mathsinspiration.com

Inspire Your Teenagers with a Maths Show

Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations. Our shows are exceptional value for money, with ticket prices in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 set at no more than £7 (which is just £5.80 if you reclaim VAT).

3.Maths Road shows http://www.mmp.maths.org/roadshow

The milenium project at Cambridge produced not only nrich but also a series of roadshows for schools.  These are not free but are well regarded.

4. Techniquest Maths Kit available for hire from techniquest Wales

5. The mathematical Museum in Germany http://www.mathematikum.de/

6. Maths Museum New York http://momath.org/gallery/

If you cannot get there, take a look at the pictures for inspiration.

7.http://www.stemwithrobots.com

This is a fantastic way to explore logic, maths and technology in a safe workshop environment.  Gary Redrup is a recognised leader in LEGO robots for learning and his courses are  extremely well attended.

8. Maths Midway Tours

This is a festival maths ideas which can be rolled out to a large audience.  I particularly like the hamronograph which takes the sound wave pattern and converts it into a drawing ( I think )

9. http://www.mathsinasuitcase.co.uk

This is run by Selwyn van Zeller who guarantees to give the students a completely engaged experience of Maths.

10. The Experimentarium: Mathematics Denmark

This is a science explore centre with some useful maths exhibitions.

11. http://exs.exploratorium.edu    US

This is San Fransico based exploration centre with the perhaps the biggest range of maths equipment on display

12. Maths Mondays – http://momath.org/mathmonday/

This site contains some great art and maths projects from the New York Museum of Maths

13. Mathcraft

Making craft from maths.  The biggest collection on the web spanning origami to Minecraft.

14. Andre Jefferies http://www.andrewjeffrey.co.uk/products.asp

Great magic shoes to inspire the wonder in maths

15. http://www.bensparks.co.uk

Ben is an experienced teacher who gives a range of great talks around maths.

16. http://www.bubblz.co.uk/

Stunning clowning and balloons with Maths at the very heart of it.  These workshops are bookable all round the UK.

LEGO Maths Review Nov 2013

This is a review of the potential of using lego to build a maths curriculum:

1. The use of simple blocks and models to create primary lessons

There is a huge room for use of Lego in the primary curriculum.  It needs structuring and codifying but I think it could be a real hit!  Here are some key examples.

  • Lego fractions
  • Lego ratios
  • volume and area calculations of cuboids
  • Sequences
  • multiplication tables built as quickly as possible

Some inspired educators on Printerest posted the following inspirations:

ec9231dca04139f0b301f578066642c8 db65c6bd8621c86647e2469162f8da97 ba8a0c2b7da889040498bf02cf676793 a6bf55c1d668377549db57b6ec54b212 39287f7340417160b04b5c0b41ea8700 30935ba1811d09221a97d70ed6bdc651 4119fb87186b318cffab01a787ed9a05 71ea3d3f4c052598770b8b2e2941a375 59b9650476986434222064a3ebfada62 51ed2dc497f0e2019638e57138f95b41 30cd117fdcded2336e531f2ae876572a

2.  The development in the US of Lego “build to express” gives opportunities of using Lego in a more comprehensive modelling manner.  At the heart of this idea is children using Lego to build a model and explore its learning possibilities.  The lessons can be done in a guided manner to meet explicit learning goals or an inquiry led manner.

Here is a collection of a few interesting models developed by different US educators;

Great video discussing the process click here

Some results:

capture3 BuildToExpress-flyer buildtoexpress-competition

Preliminary research done by Dr Little of Baylor University has shown that there is a high level of motivation created in this type of learning with an increased ability in problem solving.

3. WeDo Educational robots

Lego has been into education robots for the last 15 years.  However the simplified educational  robotics of WeDO have been tailored for the primary aged learner.

wedo-program WeDoCrane wedo4 wedo_intermediate1-270x170

It is en excellent resource for teaching the basics of logic and programming.  The mechanical items allow a full investigation of basic cogs, gears and levers.  However I think with a bit of tailoring this resource could also be used to teach maths :

a) The robots could have to be programmed to complete tasks involving time, counting and speed.

b)Robotic cranes could be used to explore weights and height

c)  The robots could be programmed to do activities which mimic multiplication e.g. Move 3 blocks to build a wall of 30 blocks or move round a multiplication maze

d) The robots could be used to play with the idea of percentage e.g. A robot could be fed blocks and for every block received the engine could go 10% faster or the robot could move 10% further.

What we need is a group of inspired educators to build a series of blinding maths lessons to utilise the learning potential of these systems.

4. Mindstorm  – the grandady of educational robots

Mindstorm was first first brought to the market in 2006 and has gone through series of evolutions to create the present Mindstorm EV3 product.  It combines the power of full technical Lego with a completely programmable robot which can receive sensor inputs and output to motors and pneumatic systems.

The Mindstorm product is used extensively in STEM engineering projects in educational setting.  The programming language is an extended version of the WeDO interface giving a very quick intuitive approach to programming.

The potential for using this as a maths learning system is limited as the process of engineering would be take are too much of the time.  Another approach to learn maths would be to have an automated city simulation where energy could be controlled.  This could allow the investigation of:

a) Percentage increases and decreases

b) Linear programming to balance city loads

c) Algebraic solutions for traffic light systems

This product would need more investigation and could be replaced in maths learning with a combination of Wolfram connect to a raspberry pi.

lego-mindstorms-nxt-2.0-robots4 mindostrm 2 mindstorm 1

Clinometer Excellent for Outdoor Work

Clinometer

When exploring angles a Clinometer can be an excellent tool.  They are relatively cheap and they give  really useful reading from which children can draw triangles from the observer to a tree.

Concepts which can be investigated are:

1.The angle need to build a flying fox.  Then constructing a drawing of the flying fox.

2. The angle a cannon would have to be pointed on castle ( introduce projectile as a straight line first)

2. The ideas of how this angle may help to determine height can be explored with older children.

Mystic Rose Maths

Try and get the students to calculate how many ways 4 people can shake hands.  This is the same as how many ways they can communicate.  Get them to draw it.  Then show if you join each point up to the other it visually gives you the answer.

Get them to create mystic rose patterns to reflect the possibilities for communication.  This shows how 12 people can communicate.

I particular like doing this exercise with pegs and wool to create structures in real life.  How many presents will a family of 12 give and receive?

Map Reading Adventures

Simple Map Adventures

Map adventures are a great way for to develop Maths.  At essence the students are using compass directions and map reading to get between points of clues.  The clues of course can be embedded Maths problems.

Expedition Planning

An expansion of this idea is the development of an expedition where the students have to work out their budget, timetable, provisions and risk assessments.  They then present this in a report for approval.  Once approved the expedition is carried out.

Map and Model 

This is nice activity where students investigate an area and then build a scale model of the area taking into account buildings and greenery.  This can be nicely achieved using lego boards and moss to represent greenery.  This teaches scale and map reading.

This can also be done outside by shaping the contours in the earth.

Coordinate Maps

Create a map of the school and overlay it on a coordinate grid.  Then create a trail using photographs and get the students to identify the coordinate points.

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