Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nuts and Bolts

My Advanced Robotics students have made a lot of progress this year. They are so proud of what they've accomplished; autonomous NXT critters, a choreographed dance with TETRIX robots, and just now a joystick-controlled mobile robotic arm. TETRIX parts require a lot of tools and these girls were not used to attaching things with screws, nuts, bolts, allen wrenches, and screwdrivers. I noticed something interesting during one of our classes this week. They were completing their construction of the robotic arms when one student said, "No, put the screw on that side and the back on this side." She referred to the kep nut as a "back" again later. I couldn't imagine why she would call a nut a back. It finally occurred to me she was talking about earrings and when I asked her if that's what she was referring to she smiled, knowing it wasn't 'correct' but it worked for them. One thing they've gotten out of their experience this year is a way to relate to making robots from their own perspectives, nuts, bolts, and all.

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