Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed Root, a miniature robot that drives and draws on classroom whiteboards to encourage social learning and freeform creativity. Robot, environment, and students all react to one another, stimulating students to come up with diverse solutions and challenges together. Chock full of electronics—magnets, accelerometer, gyroscope, wheel encoders, multicolor LEDs—the pint-sized droid moves with ease, recognizing and responding to colors, light sources, and the physical world. Square, the accompanying programming platform, lets students work at three levels: simple graphical blocks, sophisticated interconnections, and full text coding. Root is designed to fit into every classroom based on the tech ecosystem already available—wireless Internet, shared tablets, and magnetic whiteboards. The Root Robot website displays videos of some activities that Root can perform. The robot will be available in early 2017 for $199 (price is subject to change). In the meantime, educators who sign up to the institute’s mailing list will get updates on the project’s progress and will be given the option to beta test both Root and Square.
Whether users want to hone their quantitative skills or improve their knowledge of science and technology, the Brilliant app foriOS andAndroid devices creates inspiring, interactive learning experiences for children and adults alike. With free, curated weekly problems, they can gain timeless knowledge and apply their problem-solving skills.
CodeScty is an interactive learning experience designed to introduce young people to computational thinking and coding concepts through a cultural lens that they are familiar with. CodeScty’s tech-forward music education platform includes original hip-hopmusic, videos, and experiential learning activities to teach computer science principles and computational thinking to seventh- and eighth-grade students who are underrepresented in STE(A)M.
Registration for the 2021–2022 season is now open for all FIRST programs—preK–grade 12. Project-based, hands-on FIRST programs introduce students to engineering and coding in an engaging, inclusive, and creative classroom or afterschool learning environment where students work collaboratively to solve an annual robotics challenge.