Programming robots and learning math are not always activities that go together, but that is how one class is learning new math concepts.
At Port Edwards Elementary School, fifth graders learned math through experimentation with Spheros, robotic balls controlled by Bluetooth technology and an application. The students direct the Spheros’ movements. “I think of it as a hamster in a wheel, running,” said fifth grader Kailer Lyp.
Students were to learn about relationships between time, speed and distance. They programmed the balls to roll at various speeds for certain amounts of time, and measured how far the ball rolled.
The fifth graders have learned computer coding and programming through Khan Academy and the free resources provided on its website.
“It can be difficult,” said fifth-grade teacher Tim Martin, who organized the lesson. “Because some of these kids are more tech-savvy than me, so they can find what they’re doing wrong quicker than I can — and I’m OK with that. I understand the generation gap; I didn’t grow up with this. This (technology) is their real world. So let them use the technology to solve real-world problems.”