Gaynor Students Get Creative with Robotics

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017

“Hands-on experience is the best way to learn about all the interdisciplinary aspects of robotics.”

— Robotics Entrepreneur, Rodney Brooks

Robotics and Coding is an in-demand course currently offered in Gaynor’s After School Program. The After School Program enriches students’ lives with a broad variety of activities, from sports and scientific exploration to community service and cooking. This year, over 300 students have been enrolled in the 40 After School classes offered. Gaynor’s program enables students to learn, have fun, and most importantly build self-esteem, self-control, and responsibility.

In Robotics and Coding, led by teachers Brian Russ and Andrew Presarn, students experience modern technologies through multi-sensory exploration. Building robots strengthens hands-on construction skills, while coding robots to accomplish tasks requires logical thinking and beginner computer programming skills.

According to instructor Anastasia Kalona, “In Robotics and Coding, our engineers explore problem solving and critical thinking skills throughout the design and process of building their robots. The robots come in a kit that needs to be fully assembled from scratch. Our student engineers work in teams as they collaborate to assemble them.”

Despite following the instruction manual, the teams do encounter challenges with their robots. Some of them might have robots that are not able to maneuver through a testing course. Some have robots that do not move as planned. In many instances, student engineers must to go back to the drawing board to reassess and evaluate what went wrong, pinpoint the problem and make adjustments to their bots. The course ends with a fun competition in which each team’s robot has set goals to accomplish more quickly and accurately than the competition.