If you want to get kids' full undivided attention, you'll have to think of a fun way to do things. That's why a group of roboticists from Harvard's Wyss Institute created Root: a small hexagonal robot designed to ignite their interest in coding. Root was designed to crawl on a white board, using the markers and erasers it carries on command. Kids can control it by moving icons around in its accompanying app called Square (get it?). They simply have to make if-then statements using the icons, so even very young children can make the robot draw doodles and erase them afterwards. Older kids (and adults), however, can easily switch to the app's more advanced, text-based interface.
VEX Robotics World Champions again! STEM Education, ESPN, Excellence Award, the Guinness Book of World Records and a teacher from Glenfield College.
For the eighth year in a row New Zealand earned the right to call themselves World Champions at the VEX Robotics World Championships held in Louisville this weekend. Lynfield College achieved the ultimate accolade being crowned the winners of the High School Excellence Award. They join an elite group of teams who number only nine who can call themselves the best of the best. Lynfield College retained the Excellence Award won for New Zealand last year by the Glenfield College making it two years in a row for New Zealand.
David Aston from Glenfield College was inducted to the VEX Robotics STEM Hall of Fame as Teacher of the Year . Entry to this club is restricted to those who are selected by their peers not only for the dedication and hard work that they put into the program but also the all other aspects of the student’s lives. There are only nine teachers in the world who have received this award. If there is a teacher in the world who knows how creating a passion for STEM can change the lives of student lives then David Aston is that teacher. David Aston joins Johan Potgieter who was one of the first inductees in recognition of starting VEX in New Zealand.
Lynfield College also won the Robot Skills World Champions Award for the highest score in the world in a competition where the robot competes alone on the field under driver control for one minute. Scoring 454 points equates to getting two balls into a net with an opening roughly half the size of a netball hoop 15 feet away every second! All of this was done using a robot built and programmed by high school student in his spare time! There next closest rival was 23 points behind them.
It is not by chance that the VEX robotics competition has grown to be the world’s biggest robotics competition! The passion and dedication that the competition generates in the students and anyone involved in the program is evident by the excitement shown in the 1072 teams that competed in Louisville this weekend for the right to call themselves World Champions. The Guinness Book of World Records has formally recognized the VEX World Championships is the biggest in the World, ever.
For any of you out there who are still not convinced that VEX Robotics is a sport then you need to be aware that America’s premier sports channel ESPN will be airing #VEXWorlds on ESPN2 on July 20th hosted by @kristenkenny!
If you or someone you know wants to become involved send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would love to help you join in. Things only going to get better!
Lynfield College return to Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday, 27 April at 13:50 on Qantas QF 141 from Sydney.
Photographs of the event are available here.
A full list of the awards the New Zealand and Australia won are listed below.
I would like to thank all of our sponsors and in particular the Royal Society and the MBIE for the gracious financial support that they have given to our top teams. So please join me in acknowledging
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“To inspire a passion for science and technology”
Self-driving cars seem an awful lot like magic. They contain elements of automotive technology, computer vision, artificial intelligence and many other cutting-edge fields of tech. So, if you wanted to learn how it all hangs together, where would you even start? MIT decided to start with… rubber duckies.
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The STEM movement remains one of the fastest growing initiatives in education. If you’re a STEM teacher, chances are you’ve searched for good instructional strategies and for help in locating and designing STEM lessons. Now comes the big question: How are you going to assess your students’ progress during and following your STEM lessons? And what, exactly, do you need to assess?
When most people consider the upcoming robot apocalypse, they oftentimes underestimate our mechanical foes, mostly due to their perceived lumbering nature. But that’s because most people imagine Judgement Day to be kicked off by bipedal, humanoid machines, instead of the much more likely swarms of millions of tiny devices.
Case in point: scientists at Stanford University have developed tiny robots that are able to work together and move objects that are thousands of times more massive then they are. As you can see for yourselves, these tiny mechanical critters weighing only 100 grams - that’s 3.5 ounces for the metrically impaired - are able to pull a real-life car, with its driver inside, which weighs almost 2 tons (3,900 pounds).
Almost half the jobs in New Zealand may be done by computers and robots in the future, researchers say.
A study by the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) has found that 46 per cent of current jobs are at "high risk" of disappearing in the next decade or two.
Most that go will be relatively low-skilled and low-wage jobs. The study found that 78 per cent of labourers and 74 per cent of machine operators, drivers and clerical workers are at high risk.
But some highly skilled jobs are also at risk, including 63 per cent of technicians and trades workers, 24 per cent of managers and 16 per cent of professionals such as accountants.
Since its release in 2009, Minecraft has sold millions of copies worldwide revolutionizing thus the gaming industry and providing game players with an endless world of possibilities. As a sandbox construction game, Minecraft has successfully and distinctively set itself from the crowd by incorporating the ethos of 21st century learning that include: creativity, challenge, problem solving, and strategic thinking all of which are adeptly adapted to the player’s little gaming world. Minecraft provided players with the tools and resources to construct their own gaming reality and test their creative possibilities.
When kids open Minecraft, Microsoft doesn't just want them exploring dark caverns, endless plains, and procedurally generated mountains; it wants them exploring places carved out of the real world, like ancient Pompeii, the pyramids of Giza, and Greek temples — places they can learn from. To start making that happen, Microsoft is today announcing Minecraft: Education Edition, a new version of Minecraft that's customized for schools.