Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fighting IS Encouraged in Schools!

At Berry Middle School, Ms. Mangina's 8th grade computer science students wrapped up their Lego Robotics unit with a good old fashioned "Battle Bots" tournament where robots fought to the death. Okay, not really to the death but they did have to do battle. Students worked in teams to design robots, using Lego EV3 kits, with this challenge: Keep your robot inside the square and push the other robot out. Think sumo wrestling...but with robots. This may sound simple, but it took some very hard work & creativity on the part of the builders and programmers. The battles took place inside a big square outlined by blue tape. The programmers had to program the bot to use its color sensor to see this blue tape, react accordingly and keep it from going out of the battle square. That comprised their defensive effort. Next, they had to program their bot to also attack, which meant finding the other bot and pushing it out of the square. Some used the ultrasonic sensor to locate the other bot and move toward it while others applied a more random program of exploring the square until coming in contact with the other bot or the boundary. One group added spinning weapons to their bots while others relied on brute force. All in all, it proved to be a great challenge for the kids and it was extremely fun to watch.

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