The challenge for the Hackathon for Science Education run by Pueblo Science was to create a robotics-based science activity kit for high school students in Guyana under 20 dollars for their RISE Programs. The hackathon was held for 31 hours.
“Robart” is an experiment focused on teaching the basics of software and hardware. In this experience, students get to program their first software using Scratch to understand the logic behind programming and use Arduino to work on their hardware skills. The students have the opportunity to be creative in the output that they create from this experience and have fun competing with each other.
We designed a 3-day curriculum for the teachers in Guyana and created a Teachers Manual for those leading the workshop + provide further details regarding the information below.
Our team was also one of the winners at the hackathon, while later on received the People's Choice Award following the event.
Session 1: Basics of Programming
Teaching the students the basic concepts of programming (flowcharts and algorithms, loops, and if statements) on Scratch.
Session 2: Building Upon Scratch
Giving them the task to assemble the robot (by giving them a pre-made PCB so that it wouldn't be too many connections) and let them experiment with some pre-written functions in the Arduino IDE with the option to write codes themselves, program the micro-processor and see what their program does with the robot.
Session 3: Joystick Controlled Car
Adding a joystick (with the pre-written codes) to the equation and let them be creative and have some fun with different drawing utensils (chalks, inks or dyes, markers, etc).
“The arts can help increase engagement in STEAM projects since students can connect artistic mediums that they enjoy with more technical projects that may seem daunting at first, such as building an app or programming a robot.
They’re able to combine the familiar with the unfamiliar, acquiring new skills, and discovering the world of artistic innovation.” - Concordia University