Posts

506 – Robot Ministry

This week on WELSTech Sallie shares the details of a robotics camp she and Kevin ran last week. Chromebook tips and classroom screen sharing round out a show focused on education…and ministry.

The discussion:

iBot, uBot, mBot – Sallie shares her recent Robot Camp experience and how the format can be replicated in church or school settings.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

This week we feature one of the most popular videos ever from Your Time of Grace – 4 Tips For Reading Your Bible – on the WELSTech Instructional playlist on YouTube.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 507 – Martin is up to bat in the summer ministry resources series. Tune in. It’s sure to be a tech home run for your ministry! Release date: Wednesday, July 26.

Get involved:

Robot Camp

Recently my husband and I hosted a Robot Camp – 5 nights and 8 young men entering 6-9 grade, each with an mBot robot building kit and a computer for programming the mBot. The kids who attended learned about the inner workings of robots – things like electromagnetism in motors and echolocation in distance sensors. They built their robots then spent the remainder of the week learning coding so their robots could do tricks. The concepts taught and methods used could be duplicated in school, after-school or camp settings throughout our synod.

The students arrived with varying degrees of programming knowledge and experience, so to get started, we used the free printable Coding a LEGO maze resource (without LEGOs) from the Research Parent site. It’s a great “unplugged” way to introduce coding concepts including if statements and loops.

After that warm-up, we moved on to coding in mBlock. mBlock is based on the popular graphical coding language Scratch. What differentiates mBlock from Scratch is the addition of Robot commands to control LED lights, sound, movement, distance sensing and line following. mBlock commands are transmitted to the robot via a USB cable included with the robot.

Visit the mBlock download page to install the free software. Besides using mBlock on PC, Mac and Linux computers, there is also a mobile app and a Chrome browser version of the software which is in beta. If you need help, check out the Getting Started with mBlock guide.

Coding concepts we covered during the week included ….

  • If-then-else statements
  • Loops
  • Variables
  • Random numbers
  • Custom blocks, a.k.a. subroutines

With those tools in their arsenal, the students were able to create all types of programs for their robots, including …

  • Sounds – police siren and ice cream truck
  • Songs – including Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the Star Wars Imperial March
  • Lights
  • Speed
  • Turns
  • Line sensor
  • Multiple programs with press of a button
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Mazes – required precise speed, distance and turns
  • BattleBot arena – avoid collisions and stay in the arena the longest

We shopped around a bit and found the mBots at Monoprice.com for $69.99. At that price point, they proved to be a great option for teaching robotics basics as well as introducing coding concepts.

mBot Robot Kit – One Robot Per Child

See All Ministry Resources

377 – Putting The O In Gooroo

Is WELSTech real or simply virtual reality? This week’s education focused episode includes a series kick-off, out of this world picks and the final countdown to WELSTech Conference 2015 registration.

The discussion:

WELSTech Goes To SchoolMath and Technology for the Classroom – Martin and Sallie are joined by Jason Schmidt, Technology Coordinator from Bennington ISD, and they kick off the new WELSTech Goes To School series with a look at Math and Technology web sites, apps and extensions for all grade levels.

News in tech:

Picks of the week:

WELS insider:

Check out the WELS Annual Report in your favorite format …

Need to know:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 378 – Martin and Sallie walk viewers through the exciting lineup of speakers at this summer’s WELSTech Conference. (02/03/15)

Featured videos:

This week we’ve add a new video to the WELSTech Instructional playlist on YouTube – Khan Academy exercise software, part of the Khan Academy Teacher Workshop playlist

 

Get involved:

Episode 003 – Jan 23 2008

This week Martin and Sallie sit down with Rob Benson, WELS Network Security Administrator, to discuss how to keep your computer, it’s information and your identity safe.

The interview:

  • Computer Security – Martin and Sallie are joined by Rob Benson, WELS Network Security Administrator, to discuss computer and e-mail security for the church office, school and home

The tidbits:

The featured artist:

  • WELS contemporary praise band Koine sings I Hear the Savior Calling from their second CD, Gesangbuch – www.koinemusic.com

Get involved: