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Today our homeschooling co-op came over to test run a workshop our robotics team put together for us.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to introduce STEM to some of the kids.

We are putting together a series of workshops based on the Seven Wonders of the World.  Each workshop will focus on a different task.  Today was all about basic building and line following.  It was neat to incorporate a bit of geography and history in with robotics and I think the results were great!

As with our FIRST LEGO League team, we used NXT LEGO Mindstorms kits.  Handy step by step instructions made it easy for the participants to follow and ensured they created a robot design that would be solid enough to perform the task.  A light sensor and a program they could down load gave them all the necessary tools to complete the task successfully.

The workshop is designed in such a way that we have add ons that can be assigned to groups that complete the task early.  For example there are robot design modifications that can be made and there are various programming challenges that can be done to give groups even more programming experience.

When they were all complete everyone tested their robots.  For sure that was the highlight of the day as everyone proudly showcased their work.

Wisely the robotics team members made some notes afterwards noting the length of time it took different age groups to complete the task and noting things they would like to improve or do differently in the future.  I love to see the kids take this sort of initiative and having the experience/forethought to analyze the process to improve in the future.  It never ceases to amaze me just how many skills can be learned through FIRST LEGO League!