Sensors and motors are around us and embedded in objects that we encounter every day. They are often hidden away in devices that we take for granted. Rarely do we get a chance to think about the engineering necessary to make these devices and appliances work. One valuable way to start to understand how these objects work is to build things using motors and sensors.
Recently, the 5th grade celebrated the culmination of their engineering and programming unit during STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) week. Students worked for two hours every afternoon to design, build and program their own creations using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 invention system. These capstone projects provided the opportunity to apply their developing understanding of sound construction techniques, motors, sensors and programming as they worked iteratively to improve their projects throughout the week.
At their STEAM Expo this past week, the 5th graders displayed their creations during a massive gallery walk. Motors were spinning, sensors detecting, programs running and lights flashing as they shared their hard work with one another.