The engineering process required to design, build, and test an innovative robot is explored using LEGO MINDSTORMS kits. Engineering concepts, such as gear ratio, leverage, and process control, are integrated in the technology of computer programming. Students learn through a hands-on application as they build and program their robots to complete specific tasks.
The curriculum option, designed for fifth through eighth graders, utilizes the resources of the official LEGO website. The site offers product information, classroom applications, and activities that can be done utilizing the NXT system. This information can be access at http://www.lego.com/education and clicking on "school" or "education" on the task bar. Another helpful site is http://mindstorm.lego.com.
The classroom curriculum activities are usually offered in the Spring, usually February through April. These activities are built around the First Lego League (FLL) Challenge. This competition is held in the fall at Clarkson University and co-sponsored by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES. more information about the FLL challenge can be obtained at http://www.firstlegoleague.org.
Professor James Carroll, Electrical and Computer Engineering, has led the robotics education initiative in our region. Professor Carroll has successfully obtained grants through NY State Education Department and conducted Summer Institutes for teachers through a STEM partnership grant. He has also secured private funding to support the FLL and FTC competitions.