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BRICKS AND TEACHERS AT S.ANSELMS

At S.Anselms School in Bakewell, both pupils and staff have been having fantastic experiences developing LEGOConfidence with WeDo2.0 and Mindstorms EV3 since their training with John, just a year ago. They are developing a STEAM learning continuum from Nursery all the way towards GCSE! This is their story … there is creativity in every brick and inspiration for every teacher!

Creativity is the key to success for Louise Flack and her Year 3 class! 

How fantastic that when studying ‘Dinosaurs’, Louise gave her Year 3 pupils this lovely ‘hook’ into using WeDo 2.0 for the first time. She asked her pupils to design a free-build fan that would blow away all of the dust created by a meteor that hit Earth! There were some awesome results! The children in Year 3 then loved getting creative with STEAM in their classroom ‘Maker Space’; they designed, built and programmed robotic, moving dinosaurs using WeDo2.0, egg boxes and other arts and crafts materials. They even added wonderful roaring sounds to bring their fantastic creations to life!

Later, when LEGO confidence, knowledge and skills had been built, Louise’s ‘Aztecs’ project led to Year 3 pupils being given the exciting challenge of creating their own chocolate bar and designing a moving vehicle to transport the bar from factory to shop. Practical modifications and tinkering were needed to ensure the bars didn’t slide out or plop off the brilliant WeDo vehicles – and careful coding was required to ensure a successful drive delivered the precious cargo on time! Pupil peer-evaluation, reflection and re-engineering was a must for these skilled and motivated Year 3 pupils!

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WHERE NEXT?
Louise is really excited about developing John’s WeDo ‘Animals’ idea. So this academic year, Year 3 pupils will be designing and building moving animals using the WeDo 2.0 elements! Raising Robots are looking forward to seeing (and hearing!) the ‘crawlers’, ‘flyers’ and ‘sliders’ which will bring Louise’s classroom to life once again. As for the buzzing WeDo bumble bee that will be temporarily added to the school’s RHS award winning garden … wow! It’s great to see S.Anselms’ Year 3 pupils fully engrossed in the local environmental ‘Farm to Plate’ project in Bakewell this summer.

A GOLDEN MOMENT
One particular stand-out moment for Louise in her recent experience of teaching coding with LEGO WeDo, is the opportunity it gave her pupils to grow and shine in a whole new skill area. One pupil in particular gained such confidence and skill that he has now been identified as a Talented pupil in this area. The school are looking forward to providing even more enriching STEAM experiences for their pupils. It is clear that hands-on, curriculum-based STEAM projects such as Louise’s have the power to transform children’s experiences of education.

How has Year 4 teacher, Juliet Elvin, used WeDo 2.0 to bring Roman Chariot racing to life in the classroom?

As a peer-taught We-Doer, Juliet has had a terrific year using WeDo 2.0 core sets with her Year 4 when her pupils designed, built and programmed chariots to race in gladiatorial races as part of the ‘Romans’ project! Pupils started with pulleys and moved towards geared chariots; her pupils gained great confidence, knowledge and skills, along with wonderful opportunities for developing creativity and problem solving. Raising Robots see this as a perfect combination for success in the classroom! 
 
‘Cow To Cone’ … how can WeDo 2.0 help to bring local ice cream making to life in the classroom?
More recently, Juliet has developed a wonderful Year 4 project called ‘Cow To Cone’. Having visited a working farm, Juliet’s pupils were then challenged to develop machines, mechanisms and vehicles to transport milk to factories and ice cream to customers …. from cow to cone! Next, Juliet is excited about teaching her pupils about how to use sensors and use ramps to add in extra layers of challenge for her most confident and skilled builders, engineers and coders in her class. Fun times for Year 4!
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WHAT ARE YEAR 4 GOING TO BE DOING WITH MINDSTORMS NEXT YEAR?
“Never let the future disturb you.” Marcus Aurelius
Both the present and the future are exciting for Juliet and her Year 4 class! After receiving a day of Raising Robots’ training (when she designed and programmed an awesome, buzzing WeDo bumblebee with her team!), Juliet is also looking forward to introducing Mindstorms EV3 to her Year 4 pupils so that they can design, build and programme Roman chariots that turn… along with catapults or trebuchets that fling! Raising Robots are confident that Juliet’s Year 4 pupils will love this hands-on opportunity to link the History curriculum with STEAM, and with a little friendly competition mixed in… her pupils will be having great fun and learning fantastic things too!

Year 5: Naomi Baynes and Davina Buswell
When the Victorian era meets WeDo 2.0 at S. Anselms – something magical happens!

Naomi and Davina introduced Year 5 to WeDo 2.0 with a great fan build activity; pupils loved building and coding to create rotating structures, but builds and engineering ideas were soon developed, modified and explored organically, along with pupils launching themselves into researching Victorian fairground rides. In each team, pupils were assigned team roles such as ‘Head Designer’, ‘Lead Builder’ and ‘Chief Coder’ – peer support and collaboration led to some challenging DT problem-solving skills being harnessed and developed! 
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Mixed media had an exciting role to play in their ‘Maker Space’ such as paint, cardboard and play-dough and these were combined with WeDo to create Victorian fairground rides that not only functioned well, but were robust and aesthetically pleasing too! Building without glue: this was a serious challenge for our engineers of tomorrow – but what creative solutions they came up with!
 
WHERE MY WELLIES TAKE ME!
Later in the year, Year 5 pupils embarked on a geography and mapping project – where did their wellies take them? Well, they plunged excitedly into boxes of Mindstorms EV3 for the first time! LEGO confidence and key skills had been developed with WeDo, so small, quick EV3 builds, programming, sensors, following a line and turning at given angles were the next set of challenges for Year 5! 
 
Once pupils had got to grips with getting their EV3 vehicles moving smoothly, it was time to get messy with Mindstorms … something we love at Raising Robots! On A1 boards, pupils designed and created terrains and scenery for their robot vehicles to navigate – there were bridges to cross, hills to climb up and down, soft snow scenes to sink into, and urban townscapes with roundabouts to navigate. What fun – and what learning!