Mondays with Megan: Robots at the Library Edition

If you asked me a year ago if I would be doing a robotics program with my teens at the library I would have chuckled and reminded you that math is not my thing and robotics sounds like a lot of math. It turns out robotics does involve math (still not my thing) and I do have a robotics program for my teens. Who knew? Thanks to the generosity of one of our library support groups we recently purchased six Lego Mindstorm kits. I will freely admit to freaking out when the robots arrived, and then again before, during, and after the brief training I had. I felt a little better after going to a second training and practicing on my own and with my awesome partner in robotics, Stacey. But I was still worried. Who wouldn’t be? Maybe a math genius or rocket scientist. But me? Nervous. Turns out Stacey and I rock the robotics.

Here is how it went down at the library:

The goal: build a robot, program it to do things, test it to see if it will actually do those things.

Step 1: Pick a partner, find a spot to spread out, and build a robot!

It took some patience and teamwork, but in the end we had four robots built and ready to program.

 With the hard part over, they set about programming their bots. They started small and worked their way up to more complex programs until their parents came and had to practically drag them away from their projects.

This is what I learned:

1. Me and the Robots may never be besties, but they don’t stress me out anymore.
2. It takes a long time to build the basic robot.
3. Teens are much better sports than I am. Whereas unsuccessful programs spiked my blood pressure and drove me to the brink of tears, they simply when back to the computer and cheerfully tried again. Seriously. Zero frustration from them. It was pretty awesome to observe.
4. In the future this will be a two-part program. One session will be spent building and the second will focus on programming.
5. I need more practice!
6. Teens do not get Short Circuit references.  Number 5 is alive! Oh my gosh, that movie was made in 1986?!?

Holiday preparations have left me exhausted and unfocused, so I have gotten very little reading done. This is so hard to believe considering I have Clockwork Prince in my possession. Once I finish with The Misfits by James Howe for book club on Wednesday I will be able to fully dedicate myself to CP, I promise. That’s all for now. Stay tuned for lots of year in review lists!

Happy Reading!



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