Robotics and Coding Spring Holiday Bootcamp for MANCOSA Durban Staff Kids

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The MANCOSA School of Education’s iTEACHlab hosted a Robotics and Coding Spring Holiday Bootcamp for MANCOSA Durban staff kids ...

The MANCOSA School of Education’s iTEACHlab hosted a Robotics and Coding Spring Holiday Bootcamp for MANCOSA Durban staff kids. The 1-day bootcamp took place on Wednesday, 05th October 2022 at the MANCOSA School of Education’s iTEACHlab in central Durban. The aim of the Robotics and Coding Spring Holiday Bootcamp is to develop collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical-thinking skills among learners from Grade 6 to Grade 10. In attendance, there were 27 learners from 23 various schools.

The bootcamp began with the registration and welcome session for the learners. The programme of the day consisted of three exciting sessions. For the first session, one group of learners started with coding a robot and the second group of learners explored the world of virtual reality using Oculus and other VR headsets. Halfway through the session, the groups switched activities so that all learners were able to code a robot and use VR headsets. Learners were shown how to program the robot in order to make it move forwards, and backwards, perform rotations, and output sounds. Some learners also built a robot before learning to program it as well. This encouraged problem-solving and critical-thinking skills among learners.

After a snack break, learners were grouped into six teams for the second session. The teams were presented a Lego design challenge that required each of the team members to adopt a specific role such as a Looker, Runner, Builder, and Marketer/s. This activity promoted communication, time management, collaboration and teamwork. The following describes the role of each of the team members:

Looker — This learner was be able to view the model and was responsible for telling the “Runner” exactly what the model looks like. Fun fact: The Looker was be given between 12 seconds – 60 seconds to check out the model.

Runner — This learner was not be able to see the model, but received information from the “Looker” and took it back to the “Builder.”

Builder — This learner was not allowed to talk and only received information from the “Runner” to build the LEGO model.

Marketers — Two learners were tasked with branding their team’s construction, taking into account the “Runner’s” description, telling the story of the product their team was building and why stakeholders should be interested in the construction.

The teams then presented their Lego models to the audience and marketed the product. This allowed for to develop public-speaking skills as well as to develop their self-confidence.

After lunch, the learners chose their own groups for the third session to do Gamification activities using the Clevertouch, whilst some learners chose to explore more VR apps using the VR headsets. Other groups of learners were keen to practice more coding on the robots. We also had three other groups of learners that created beautiful collaborative artwork by painting on canvases, which are currently on display in the Amphitheater at the ITEACHlab. The bootcamp closed off for the day with a thank you from the iTEACHlab team and review videos of the attendees.