Day 88: JanTerm Day 1

Monday, 5 January 2015

The JanTerm began today! I’m teaching Introduction to Engineering with Shaffiq Welji, a colleague from the math department and a co-conspirator on the robotics team coaching staff. During Intro to Engineering, a 3 week course, our kids in grades 9 through 12 will study mechanical systems, control systems, and power systems. We’re using the VEX robotics system as our base for most work and everything is project-based.

Today, kids started by building the ClawBot from a kit. Our theory is that kids need to first see how these parts can work before they start designing their own.


ClawBot, about halfway built.

We gave the kids these tasks for Monday and Tuesday:

  1. Build the ClawBot.
  2. Build a 2nd robot from the extra parts in the PoE kit box.
  3. Make a robot follow a black line we lay down on the floor.
  4. Make the ClawBot pick up a spray paint can and move it fromย the end of the line to the beginning.
  5. Make a creative and useful modification to either bot.

By the end of Monday, most groups were almost done the ClawBot. Our class time is somewhat limited because the schedule has built-in community and break time. It’s a great idea but I think we took too much time off today and hope to find a better mix tomorrow.


I do appreciate a well-organized parts box.

What do you want to know about JanTerm?


One thought on “Day 88: JanTerm Day 1

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