Solarbotics' Grove Academic Education Bu...

Dave Hrynkiw
September 8, 2016

Last summer during a Solarbotics Robotics for Educators session, one of the teachers noted something about many of the mainstream robotics and electronics learning platforms commonly used in classrooms. He said that those platforms suffered from the Black Box Effect. This effect was where the “black boxes,” the controllers, were plugged into the computer and worked... like magic.

The hacker community knows it isn’t magic, but the question posed was how do we introduce students to this level of technology?

This is where the SeeedStudio's Grove system of electronics comes in. There aren't any fancy enclosures to obstruct your view of the components that make the electronic systems tick while maintaining a fairly robust connection method to make assembly quick and almost error free. As proven as the system is, teachers had to develop their own resources around the system, and continually scour the Grove Wiki for improvements to their documentation and sample code.

To address this deficiency, we’ve developed The Solarbotics' Grove Education Bundle which is a fully functional Robotics, Programming and Electronics class developed with junior high and middle school student in mind. Solarbotics produces this in conjunction Mr. Mitch Way of Nelson Mandela High School - a practicing Robotics teacher in Calgary, Alberta. It differs from traditional “How To” guides on Arduino by being written by a teacher for teachers and home educators who are new to Robotics. This bundle lays out a full series of lessons complete with:

  • Slides presentations
  • Self-reflection guide
  • An assessment guide

The assessment guide has been aligned with the new Alberta Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) curriculum and draws heavily upon formative, competency based assessment. Any teacher can be a hero at staff meetings when you can use all of those buzz-words in a single sentence. The complete Teacher Guide includes:

  • The lesson plan guide
  • Corresponding online slideshows
  • A self-reflection booklet for students to record their learning
  • An assessment guide.

grove-education

Slideshow example above

The lessons are designed to be used with the Grove system of electronics and the Solarbotics Sketchboard Uno Arduino-compatible as the microcontroller. The lessons begin as a very structured guide to programming concepts such as:

  • Binary communication using table tennis paddles
  • Pseudocode by designing an automatic dog feeder
  • Design Process focusing on innovative coffee cups

Through the lessons, students will learn how to actually code an Arduino using proper conventions and methods in order to avoid much of the frustration often found in young programmers.

What fun is electronics knowledge if you can’t apply it. To that end, the course concludes by having students branch out into either Maker or Passion projects where they will tackle and solve real world problems with what they’ve learned.

In order to give you the needed flexibility to suit your classroom needs, we've developed two bundles - Basic and Expanded.

90065-grove-education-pack-basic-lab-bundleBasic Lab Bundle Includes:

- Teacher's Guide download, including the lesson plan guide, the corresponding online slideshows, a self-reflection booklet for students to record their learning, and an assessment guide
- 4x Grove - Starter Kit for Arduino
- 4x The Solarbotics SketchBoard
- 4x USB-A to Micro-USB Cable
- 4x GM3 Gear Motor
- 1x Male-Male Jumper Wire Kit

90066-grove-education-pack-expanded-lab-bundleExpanded Lab Bundle Includes:

- Teacher's Guide download, including the lesson plan guide, the corresponding online slideshows, a self-reflection booklet for students to record their learning, and an assessment guide
- 4x Grove - Starter Kit for Arduino
- 4x The Solarbotics SketchBoard
- 4x USB-A to Micro-USB Cable
- 4x GM3 Gear Motor
- 1x Male-Male Jumper Wire Kit
- 1x Grove Ultrasonic Ranger
- 2x Grove Tilt Switch
- 2x Grove LED Bar
- 1x Grove Moisture Sensor
- 1x Grove Temperature and Humidity Sensor
- 1x Grove I2C Touch Sensor
- 1x ARDX Plastic Tool Case
- 2x Slide Potentiometer

For more information on the bundles, email sales@solarbotics.com

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