This year at East Northport Middle School, all technology education courses have incorporated the design and construction of VEX Robotics. In addition to constructing these robots, students are learning to code in a programming language called RobotC in order to operate their creations.
In Mr. Thomas Mauro’s eighth-grade tech education class, students spent four to five days building their robots. They then had to tackle different assignments that required them to code commands for their robots. These commands included completing a 90-degree turn, hitting all four walls of a room, moving through a maze, and more.
After coding on the computer, students took the robots into the hallway and tested their commands. If they didn’t work, they brought them back to the computer and tried again. Lessons like these are essential for students to develop critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and innovation.
“It’s the 21st century,” said Tech Education Teacher Mr. Mauro, “and with the technology now available to us, every student should have at least a basic understanding of how to code.”
The Northport-East Northport Middle School Technology Education Program supports STEM content and has been working diligently to expand academic and extracurricular opportunities for learners to study computer science, robotics and automation, and engineering design and modeling within a STEM framework.