We’re so excited to share all of the resources we used for our time at ISTELive 2023! Read on to find a list of all of our workshops and their accompanying resources. Want to see more of a certain subject? Let us know!
Last Robot Standing
“Engage middle schoolers using programming, engineering design and teamwork skills. This playfully competitive robot sport (where destruction is not the goal) helps students gain confidence with the foundations of robotics, and lets their creativity shine! You’ll leave this session having competed in a hands-on battle using Finch Robots.”
In this interactive, hands-on session, attendees experienced a full semester of a robotics class, culminating in a Battle Bots-style competition, in just 60 minutes. The session was split into three different portions, to mimic the student experience: Foundations of Robotics, Robot Jousting, and Battle Bots Tournament. This session allowed participants to explore the playful robotics competition not only as teachers, discussing computer science pedagogy and specific strategies that worked in the classroom, but also as students, building their own robot attachments. We even hosted our own tournament, where educators went head-to-head testing their jousting attachments right from their tables!
3D Interactive Biographies
“Why just read a biography when you can bring it to life? Learn how to engage learners in a groundbreaking way by combining computer science, computational thinking, robotics, STEAM and interdisciplinary learning across core content areas. You’ll get hands-on practice in building and programming your own real-world historical figure.”
This high-energy interactive session was a true conference highlight! Attendees spent 90 minutes taking a deep dive into teaching famous figures in a brand new way with the Hummingbird Robotics Kit . The session began with a look at standards-aligned student inquiry, moving through the computational thinking process to consider a one question with learners of all ages. Then, participants created a robot to showcase their new knowledge! After 40 minutes of building, we finished with a gallery walk to explore each other’s work and share ideas and feedback.
Equitable Playgrounds for All
“Playground equipment is not designed for the entire population and is not accessible by some sectors. Find out how you can explore and create playground equipment that’s accessible to all children using computational thinking (CT) and each of its stages. Walk away with a deeper working knowledge of CT in the classroom.”
This poster session saw hundreds of educators exploring accessible playground equipment prototypes created with the Hummingbird Robotics Kit. Attendees were able to interact with the protytypes, which were made from recycled craft materials and animated with the Hummingbird Kit’s lights, motors, and sensors. This poster session was presented in collaboration with 3Dux and Edgeucating.
- Session description
- A Playground for All Computational Thinking student handout
- Equitable Playgrounds slideshow video
- Free Equitable Playgrounds lesson plan from Edgeucating
Deep and Joyful Hands-On Learning with Creative Robotics
“Explore how you can incorporate more deep and joyful hands-on learning into your classes with creative robotics. Any subject, any grade level, any academic standard – the only limit is your imagination. Get hands-on with the Hummingbird Robotics Kit and leave with tons of free resources to get the deep and joyful learning started right away.”
Consider this session Hummingbird Robotics Kit 101! Attendees had the opportunity to learn from BirdBrain Technologies’ founder Dr. Tom Lauwers while getting hands-on experience with creative robotics. Attendees connected with the BirdBlox app, explored lighting up a single-color and tri-color LED, worked with both position and rotation servos, and got hands-on with sensors. They ended the session with a challenge to create a robot that would be a hit at a 4th of July party.
- Session description
- Deep and Joyful Hands-On Learning with Creative Robotics slides
- Start Teaching with Hummingbird!
Expand Learning Possibilities with your Existing micro:bits
“Have micro:bits and need new ways to implement them? Discover how to incorporate micro:bits to create entirely new learning possibilities. Revive your STEAM and CT lessons while helping students develop important soft skills for future success. Participants will leave with concrete, classroom-ready ideas and resources.“
This session, presented by Edgeucating, gave participants the chance to explore multiple new opportunities to use the micro:bit in their classrooms. At the BirdBrain station, attendees got to play with the Finch Robot and the Hummingbird Robotics Kit, using both the FinchBlox and BirdBlox programming languages.
- Session description
- Expand Learning Possibilities with your Existing micro:bits Lesson Ideas, via Edgeucating
Project-Based STEAM Learning
“Leverage computational thinking and problem-solving with fun and engaging technology tools to produce future-ready students and meet STEM benchmarks. Explore a lesson that will have your students responding to a natural disaster, assessing damage in remote areas using rovers and drones, and engaging government agencies in recovery.”
Project-based learning and STEAM made a perfect pair in this jam-packed session. Attendees cycled through stations exploring different ways to approach the same standards and topics with different STEAM tools. At the BirdBrain station, participants helped to design and iterate an attachment for the Finch Robot in order to aid with Mars surface exploration. After creating their attachment, participants drove the Finch Robot from the space station out onto the red planet to collect samples, and then back to the space station so that they could be studied in the lab. This fun and simple activity pairs excellently with research and is perfect to be created in any classroom, with different levels of skill!