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Tag Archives: Robotics
By Reina Wang, IV Form
The LEGO Blue Suitcase Project
In late August, I traveled to Pakistan as a part of the robotics Blue Suitcase Project. I brought the suitcase to The Lynx School in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan is a country with a particularly high out-of-school rate for many children, especially girls. The head of school at The Lynx School was especially excited to hear about our project since there are few schools in Pakistan that offer Lego lessons, even among private schools.
During the Lego workshop, I first introduced the school to our robotics team and showed them photos of our new STEM building, the FRC competition we went to, and the robots we built from previous years. They were impressed by what we did and became increasingly interested in STEM. Starting with a basic understanding of all the parts of the Lego suitcase, the children began building the Lego car in small groups. The engineering part is about creativity, and they used their imagination to design the car based on the model given by the instructions. Then we moved on to programming with touch sensors, teaching the students how to go straight, turn, and bounce back once the car hits the wall. After I led them through the techniques, the children were able to create their own paths with a number of obstacles.
This experience is brand new for the children I met in Pakistan. Lego inspires children with creativity, enhances their logic and problem-solving skills, and cultivates the ability to cooperate, communicate, and lead. The Lynx school is hoping to spread Lego robotics to many other schools in Islamabad, and they hope we can bring more advanced Lego systems back next year.(more…)
By Chris Roche, STEM Faculty
The Circuit Engineering Stair Master
The students in my spring “Robotics and Circuits Engineering with Physical Computing” class did it. They pulled it off!! We now have the “Stair Master” currently installed and running in the stairwell off the first floor of the St. Mark’s STEM building. Students and faculty like the installation, and we are looking forward to a phase two expansion that has music!
The “Stair Master” is an installation that allows a flight of stairs to be interactive with the people walking on them. Here are videos showing the Stair Master in action:
Video 1: Click Here
Video 2: Click Here
Video 3: Click Here
When you step on one of the steps in the “Stair Master”, LED light strips light on the stair you are on. The system uses sensors to know which stair you are on, triggering the appropriate lights. There are versions of interactive stairs already existing, such as the musical staircase at the Museum of Science in Boston. However, the “Stair Master” at St. Mark’s was designed and prototyped exclusively by the “Robots and Circuits” class, using class-built knowhow and our prototyping process. (more…)
By Seung Jae (Ryan) Lee, V Form
At our Gray Colloquium Day on March 27th, we were fortunate to have Don Bossi, president of FIRST Robotics, as our morning keynote speaker. FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, seeks to inspire young students to take an interest in robotics and encourages collaboration and cooperation. St. Mark’s has developed an intricate and intimate relationship with FIRST over the last four years. Thanks to the generous support from the school, the St. Mark’s Robotics Team with the team name Gone Fishin’ and a team number 3566 has finished its fourth season. Every year, the robotics team competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition (more…)
By Melissa Kok, VI Form
The stadium rumbles with the cheers of FIRST teams, mentors, and parents. If you were thinking stereotypically, you would not expect to find this much excitement at a competition “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST), but the energy in the stadium is palpable. “Coming all the way from Southborough, Massachusetts, it’s Goooone Fishin’!” the announcer in the cowboy hat bellows over the rising tide of cheers. My teammates and I jump up and add our voices to the chorus of yells reaching the top of America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis. Sitting down reluctantly, we (more…)