Gahanna Jefferson Public Schools understands the importance of giving students class options beyond the standard curriculum. These courses offer the opportunity for students to learn hard and soft skills that may be crucial to their future career. The middle school robotics program does just that.
Robotics and automation coursework include the basics of mechanics, including building gear mechanisms like chain drive, simple gears and bevel gears. Students are taught the ways those gears can be combined to create different machines as a framework for later projects. Once students are familiar with these basics, they learn how to program using ROBOTC, a cross-platform programming language.
Mishler says while students usually find the course challenging at first, they grow to really enjoy their work as they navigate facilitating their own learning, perhaps for the first time. Students must be willing to make mistakes and learn to fix them in order to create a successful robot, she adds.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to watch students come to the realization that their first attempts at building a robot don’t need to be perfect,” said Mishler. “I so enjoy watching them invent their own builds.”