The lesson “Robotic Arms – the Future of Industrial Automation” took place in the Complex of Technical Schools In Grudziądz, during the Operation of machines and electrical devices LAB in the 3rd class. It was designed for students from 16 to 20 years-old.
Increase STEM attractiveness
The role of the robotics classes was to present the high school technical youth with a wide range of modern vocational subjects. To increase the attractiveness of the lecture and laboratory activities, ICT techniques were used to introduce professional issues. The introduction to classes was a discussion of basic issues under the general concept of STEM and focusing them on some issues of robotics. For this purpose, Europeana’s online resources, as well as the teacher’s own studies for lessons from the website, Withwere used.
Using Europeana to introduce STEM and robotics
In the first part of the course, Europeana was introduced and it was described how to use its resources and explain the basic attributes of the platform. Next, the STEM and robotics issues were found in Europeana Collections using the search engine. Altogether, there were various materials ranging from the construction of robotic arms, through diagrams to specific implementations in the industry, such as the KUKA robot.
A first step towards coding
In the second part of the class, the students and the teacher started programming together in the RobLab program, the correct program code was saved and sent to the real robot – the RobTrain station. Programming was carried out using the point-to-point method according to laboratory instruction 19 from the teacher’s website.
In the third part, the students independently programmed in the RobLab environment and then tested the program code and sent it to the real robot – RobTrain. Consequently, the teacher supervised the pupils’ work only. It enforced the students’ independent, creative and innovative thinking. The teacher was only “an advisory voice” or helped with incomprehensible issues. The last task of the students was to create a report on the work carried out with the placement of the program code and the conclusions drawn from the work.
Thus, the aims of the lesson were achieved: the students enriched their knowledge of STEM and developed STEM skills in math, physics, and coding as well as the vocabulary connected with the topics of mechatronics and robotics. They also experienced describing the Cartesian system in a practical way. Above all, pairwork activities enhanced communication, collaboration, and creativity.
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