Robots have infiltrated the minds of middle school scholars at Uplift Luna Preparatory. Uplift Luna has teamed up with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and National Geographic to provide an enrichment program that transports middle school scholars into a futuristic world of machines, engineering and discovery.
For the past couple of weeks, 28 middle school scholars have been reporting to their enrichment class to learn about all of the different components that go into creating a robot.
National Geographic developed a series of activities that go along with their new film, ROBOTS 3D, and worked with the Perot Museum to bring the enrichment series to Uplift Luna.
The activities exposed scholars to many aspects that go into bringing a robot to life. Through special hands-on activities, scholars learned about the basic steps needed to create a robot from design to construction and operation. They also worked with real life robots, brought over from the Perot Museum.
Leading the enrichment classes were two educators from the Perot Museum, Jessica Liken and Beau Hartweg, who guided the scholars through their robotic journey. They worked with scholars on fun, hands-on activities that laid out basic concepts of everything from circuits and electricity, to simple machines and programming.
Scholars were faced with various challenges that put their critical thinking and team work skills to the test. Real world scenarios showed scholars that the field of robotics requires creativity, innovation and flexibility.
“I have enjoyed seeing scholars experience ‘aha’ moments, from figuring out how to solve a challenge, finally understanding something they studied in previous grades, or making a connection between lesson content and their everyday lives,” said Jessica.
Joncarlo Lyescas, middle school Spanish teacher and liaison between Uplift Luna and the Perot Museum, also noted that in addition to reinforcing content through fun activities, scholars really engaged with the information in fun, memorable ways.
“In my opinion, I think it is a great enrichment program for our scholars. Not only does it exercise the awesome and unique partnership our school has with The Perot Museum, but it allows our scholars to gain insight and work with the scientists there at the Perot Museum. By collaborating with the Perot museum through this enrichment process, it gives our scholars the opportunity to practice STEM related activities while learning the complexity behind robots. In addition, I think robotics establishes a classroom culture that is both fun, engaging, and conducive to higher ways of learning,” he said.
Scholars took a field trip to the Perot Museum to see a special showing of ROBOTS 3D on December 16, 2014.