South Orangetown Central School District

We’re kicking off Computer Science Education Week (December 6-12) with the robotics enrichment program at Cottage Lane Elementary School, which is providing roughly 65 students the opportunity to learn how to build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot!

“We’re talking about sensors. How do humans get information about the outside world? We also need to give our robots information about their surroundings. Robots can have different senses, just like people do: vision, sound, touch, gyro and light. You get to decide how your robot responds to the various sensor inputs,” explained Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum, who has run CLE’s robotics program for more than a decade.

Tanenbaum demonstrated how a robot used light sensors to follow a path on a game board, asking students to identify the type of program structure they observed.

“It’s a loop structure,” noted Owen. “The robot didn’t stop on its own.”

After observing the program and receiving some programming tips, Tanenbaum charged students with adding sensor functionality to their own robots. “You don’t have to understand every aspect of how it works right now. Play with it and see what happens,” he said.

When asked about her reasons for registering for robotics enrichment, Erica was quick to respond. “I thought it was cool because…robots. The most interesting thing I’ve learned so far is how to make robots move with the computer brain. You get to write a program and download it to the robot to make it move forward or backwards and to turn.”

Stay tuned for more #CSEdWeek stories from our schools in the days ahead!

Students and advisor watch robot on game table