The MANCOSA School of Education’s iTEACHlab hosted a Robotics and Coding training on 26 March 2022 for students.
The aim of this training session was to address the critical need for teachers to gain Robotics and Coding skills so that they may be well prepared for the Robotics and Coding course that has been approved for delivery in South Africa.
Students were welcomed into the lab and engaged in a discussion on how the South African education curriculum is changing to cater for the development of 21st Century skills among teachers. The objective of the Robotics and Training session is to introduce students to the concepts of Computational Thinking and how they can be used to solve real-world problems. These concepts include decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithms and evaluation.
A total of 15 students were allocated into groups of four and provided instructions on how to build a robot using the EV3 Lego kits. What was evident in this task was the demonstration of key 21st Century skills which included communication, collaboration, problem-solving skills and teamwork. Once the robot was constructed, students were asked to be creative and add sensors to the robot. The last activity involved programming the robot to perform various actions like moving, turning and producing sounds. There were various outcomes from each group; three of the groups managed to successfully construct the robot and program it to move. One of the groups experienced challenges during the construction phase, which allowed them to display critical thinking skills and seek collaboration from other groups as a learning journey. Thereafter, students were made aware of the forthcoming Facilitators Level 1 Robotics and Coding Course that is scheduled to roll out for students this semester. Overall, the session was engaging and exciting, with students geared up to continue with further Robotics and Coding courses from the iTEACHlab.