The Year Eight Robotics course is designed to introduce students to the skills and knowledge involved in robotics. Using the Lego Mindstorms Education kits and the latest EV3 software they will learn how to design and build robotic contraptions for specific purposes. As well they will write programs to achieve those purposes. This will develop skills in problem solving, logical thinking and basic engineering design. Students will work in groups of two or three per kit, which will require them to develop the collaborative skills necessary when working with other students.
Through a range of activities, each student will discover how to utilise available technology to develop digital solutions for specific tasks. They will also research the many ways robotics is being used in the world around them.
The study of robotics teaches students about aspects of God’s purpose and His character. He is the Creator of people, just as they are the creators of their robotic devices. God designs people for a specific purpose; He equips them with skills and gifts to achieve that purpose; He adjusts and fine-tunes them where necessary; He loves them and looks after them. However, there is one major difference. Unlike robots, which must do exactly as they are programmed to do, God does not control the people He has created. God does want people to obey Him, but not because they have to. Rather He seeks people who will obey Him because they want to; because they love Him and trust Him.
Robotics is one of the technology revolutions in our rapidly changing world. The Year Nine and Ten Robotics course integrates the major disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By using the Mindstorms EV3 programming software provided, students will learn to write, test and modify their own programs. They will also develop skills in engineering and design as they build various robotic models for specific tasks. In Year Ten students will be introduced to electronics, with one unit focusing on building a specific electronics project.
Robotics also teaches students about God as the master builder, designer, programmer and problem solver. It is a picture of His purpose for each of their lives: a place designed and programmed by God where He can live in them so they can make a difference in the world around them.
Robotics could lead to specialised careers in engineering, electronics and computer programming; but it really connects to any field where automation is involved, which is virtually every field in today’s society.
Students who are considering selecting Robotics as an elective in Years Nine and Ten should have reasonably strong science and mathematics skills, enjoy the challenge of solving problems and be willing to experiment when programs do not work the first time. They should be prepared to work on tasks in small groups, which will require them to develop their communication and teamwork skills.
All Robotics students on occasions are expected to spend time, in addition to their allocated class time, working on their tasks – either at home, or at school during break times.