SUMMIT, NJ - Thirty third through fifth graders at Franklin Elementary School participated in an after school program working with LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, courtesy of a grant from the the Summit Educational Foundation.

Working in groups of three, the young engineers spent time creating robots by carefully following the directions.  Each group then learned how to use the program to make their robot follow commands.  The challenge was to program the robot to follow a pattern and move across the rug.  Each group was successful in making their robots move.

Student Gianna said, “I made a puppy robot that actually acted like a puppy.  It barked and did tricks.  When programming my robot, there was a glitch and I was able to fix it.  I made a shorter program and checked the ports; then I went back to my old program and put it in a different order and it worked”   Another student, Daniel, added, “Robotics is amazing.  You build a LEGO Robot, you program it and it can do basically anything. What’s not to like?”  A third student, Thomas, was also enthusiastic, saying, “I love robotics.  You can build your robot and get creative.  You can program it to do anything.” 

Loreli Stochaj is the Librarian at Franklin School, and the grant author.  She reports that, “The LEGO Mindstorms Robotics exceeded my expectations.  I loved the collaborative atmosphere.  The teams of three really worked hard to build their robots.  Once they started to program the robots I was impressed with how they shared their findings.  We all learned from each other.  Contributions were valued by the group.  What a great experience all thanks to the SEF.”

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