Innovation @ NIST

| Bangkok, Thailand Curated by NIST's Learning Innovation Coaches

Innovation Spotlight: Year 5 Robotics Unit

Year Five students are involved in a “How the World Works” unit where the central idea was “Exploration and innovation in robotics is changing society and the environment.” Students are inquiring along these lines: exploring and investigating robotics, impact of robotics on society and the environment, and creativity and innovation in robotics.

One theme we see in student thinking is how robotic innovation can solve problems. One of the tasks of the unit is to have students design something to solve a problem. They do this by prototyping with physical materials together with SAM Labs wireless electronic ‘blocks’ such as buttons, light sensors, motors, and LED lights. Solutions involve inputs, processing, and outputs. This is one of the fundamental parts of computational thinking. Students are also learning problem-solving by decomposing big problems into smaller parts in order to create a solution for each of the parts. They also find that iteration helps to reach a solution and that it is best to change only one thing at a time to see the effect.

Innovation Spotlight: Battle In Bangkok

On 2 February, 73 robotics students from around Bangkok and overseas gathered together in the Pongpanit Centre to battle for bragging rights and invitational spots at the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championships. Teams from International School Bangkok, NIST International School, Ruamrudee International School, Thai-Chinese International School, and Robo Buddy in Indonesia worked for months to design, build, test, and strategize in order to prepare to compete in this one day tournament.

Tasks for this year’s game, Turning Point, included launching balls at flags, flipping caps, lifting caps onto posts, and parking on raised platforms; it is quite challenging! More than just winning the games, the teams learn engineering skills and the importance of collaboration towards a common goal.

One of the NIST teams has been invited to participate in the world competition in April, where they can test their skills against the best in the world. We wish them the best of luck at the competition.