Students' Achievments in the Robotics Field
Eleven excelling 8th and 9th grade students were selected to take part in the regional and then the national First Lego League (FLL) Competition**, where despite a late start, which left them with only half the allotted time, they came in second (of 30 teams) in the regional competition. Participants reported that beyond the problem-solving and technical knowledge acquired in robot construction, they experienced the importance of working in teams, listening to others, decision making in real time, strategic planning, brainstorming and forging new friendships. Moreover, the experience strengthened confidence in their abilities.
140 High Schoolers--10th and 11th graders, participants in a special program for excelling Haifa students, with an interest in robotic-related fields, and in constructing and researching autonomous robots--took part in introductory workshops in robotics, during a special concentrated Science Day. Students were divided into teams, each of which was given a specific task and each of which learned about basic scientific technological principles and concepts through simulations. Students were exposed to urban transport systems (traffic lights, driverless vehicles and parking barriers); an iRobot Roomba, which cleans surfaces; an iRobot Create, a programmable robot platform for developing one's own innovative robot; and a simulation of a NASA Control Center, which operates a mobile Mars probe equipped with a camera. Participants got to know graphics programming and to combine their individual robots into a multi-robot system that uses IR communication. They also built robots based on RCX Control, equipped with sensors of light and touch. All experienced the importance of working in teams toward a common goal and most noted on their evaluation sheet, that the experience was "fun" and "innovative" and that they felt they had "accomplished something." Some said the experience would motivate them to continue studies in Robotics.
Special sessions of Annual "Barak" Seminar for ninth grade Jewish students from Mexico, in this two week workshop, these youngsters constructed and programmed robots for traffic and vehicle control with sensor systems