Bringing 3d Printing And Robot Building Classes To Miami Schools

 
#1

Due to the publicity from the Kickstarter, here in Miami i have been dubbed the Miami Robot Maker. From this exposure I was contacted by many schools in my area about doing after school courses on Robot building and 3D printing. I have met with the schools and agreed on 2 x 8 session courses. The first will be Introduction to 3D printing & Design and the other will be The fundamentals of Making Robots. Both classes will be after school paid programs. Each session be for 2hrs. I will be using Makerbot Rep 2's(8 of them, waiting on Makerbot for a scholastic price plan or hopefully donated) for the 3D printing sessions. The Robot building classes will be based on the EZ-Robot platform and the XLR-ONE Series Robots. The course will be teaching the basics of the EZ-Builder program along with designing and finally showing off there finished bots.I will see if the budget can fit in the Revolution bots as well. Alot of this will come out of pocket at first but the overall venture is well worth it. Also in the works, a Summer Robot Day camp here in Miami held at my mother in-laws banquet hall. Mon-Fri 10am to 5pm starting in July 2015 and ending in 2nd week of August 2015. This will coincide with The XLRobots 3D Print and Design meetups im currently setting up in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. I also have our local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts getting into the Robots and 3D printing by having the first ever Troop 850 3D Print Badge and Robot Builders badges by the end of this troop year.

So it looks like Im hanging up my florist apron for a lab coat.

The classes are great for EZ-Robot, they introduce the kids to robotics and create future customers of EZ-Robot and XLRobots. Win Win.

#2

Awesome Ant. You will have a lot of fun with this.

#3

Thanks, this is such a huge opportunity.

#4

Man - that's really awesome! Congrats Anthony Grin

#5

What I have seen through the students that I teach is that a simplified approach is preferable initially. This is because if you get too advanced, you will soon lose the interest of the students.

What makes a good robot engineer first and foremost is motivation to learn. Once you lose that with someone, they are shot. Often times the motivation can overcome areas of deficiency. The way that you keep them motivated is by them seeing results quickly, and repeatedly. It is also important to point out to them that some of them will pick up certain areas of robotics more quickly than others and not to get discouraged. Everyone has an area of deficiency when it comes to robotics, but those that are smart realize this deficiency and ask questions to those who they believe are not deficient in this area, and learning from those answers. It is a lot cheaper than learning from your mistakes.

Those students who excel in an area do so because they have been exposed to that area, it interested them, they got motivated, and they drove themselves to learn. If a student, especially a younger student runs into many difficulties in learning something, they quickly move on. Most of these students initially think of these more as dolls than robots. You wouldn't believe how many of them just want to reach up and move the parts of the robot by hand.

I say this because it will paint a realistic picture. I view my job with the school as an introduction to robotics. We are incorporating 3d-printing in about a month. There are some students that will take off and go to the next level. There are some who probably wont ever go beyond where we end up this year. Some love the programming aspect of robotics. Some love the build. some love the design. Some want to learn more about electronics. I have done my job which was to introduce them to all of these. They can now head in the path that they choose. The program will focus more on specific areas as they get older and the program grows.

I don't know how it is in England, but in the US, robotics has been being taught to high school students as a rule. It isn't in all schools, and some are trying to start robotics courses with younger students. This sounds like the type of program that Ant is going to be involved it. I completely agree starting at a younger age, but you really have to limit what the student does at this age. You cant put a soldering iron in their hand and teach them to solder two wires together, much less worry about any serious electronic work. If there were only a few students, then maybe, but with a lot of students, its not safe or practical. Getting these students to the next level with some knowledge of robotics is the goal. Knowing how a servo works is huge. Knowing the difference between digital and analog; Knowing why lithium is used in batteries; Knowing how batteries work and what the S rating on a lipo means; What is a script and how do you make one? Having this type of knowledge heading into the next level of robotics classes puts the students in a position to excel at that level. You have to understand that many of the robotics instructors at the next level don't know the answers to these questions when they should be teaching these students far more advanced topics.

My hope is that having more advanced students entering the high school robotics classes will demand the robotics teachers at that level to either push themselves or find a job teaching something else. Its like computer classes were when we were in school. They were a complete joke and anyone who pushed themselves would quickly surpass the knowledge of the teacher or professor in college. These people are educators and not EE's. It is nice when an EE retires and goes back to a local school to teach to supplement their retirement. The problem with the schools are that they have this person teach math due to a vacancy instead of moving the current robotics teacher to the math class and placing the EE in the robotics teacher slot. They dont want to upset the current teacher because they might lose them and they already have 27 open teaching positions in the district. The ones who suffer are the students.

Introducing students to robotics rewarding. I wish you the best.

To some people, the standard set of robots sold here are more than enough. To others, they just scratch the surface of what is possible. In both cases starting with these robots accomplishes the task.

#6

@Anthony... Totally jealous... I would love to demo my inMoov and the ezb at the local high School or College...

#7

@Richard R Just curious, what would keep you from doing just that?

#8

@ DJ Sures Thank you, I look forward to making EZ-Robot the mainstream for robot building for Miami.

@Richard R You should bring Andrew(love the name, its my younger sons name) an show it off. If not at a school at a meet up in your area for robotics and such.

@ D.Cochran I will take all you wrote to heart and apply it to my new venture. Thank you so much for the time and excellent infor.

#9

@pacowang Maybe I will look into that... Sue works at the local college maybe she can hook me up with someone in the robotics department.... Hmmmm, maybe might be able to score a part time job too? Smile

I am a little leery about transporting Andrew.... Last time I took him for a ride he gave a cop the finger.... Tongue

#10

@Richard R Just saying. We all have seen your work here. You obviously have a passion for building and a drive to do it. Just like Anthony you guys have the ability and desire to go show kids what it's all about.

Heck, DJ out to be happy with that. More sales.

Not sure about Canadian cops but US Cops just give you the finger back (or taze you or if they are having a bad day, shoot you)