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3rd graders build robots at Santa Rita Elementary School

Mrs. Rowhani's third graders learn about matter and energy by building a Spout bot with Khan Academy. Special thanks to: Santa Rita's volunteer parents, Kami Thordarson, Karen Wilson and of course Laleh Rowhani the class teacher. Created by Karl Wendt.

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Video transcript

To me, seeing the third graders in this kind of setting is exactly what we talk about when we talk about hands on learning, project based learning and I was amazed that the kids understood the concepts I mean I checked in with three or four different kids and each one that I asked about the sensors they were able to exaplain to me why the robot was hitting the wood and how the motor had to reverse I mean I was just blown away by the vocabulary and the concepts the kids were introduced to when you bump into things that would push this back which puts on the motor, it will turn- the motor will make it turn the other way these right here are sensors if they bump into a wall it will make them go backwards from the first day, just approaching the whole content starting with the atom and working your way through that was amazing to see that the students were interested and it could have been because they knew they were going to build a robot eventually but they were interested in the content and knowing that process and then when we moved beyond the content and started to have that application, the students got so excited and to see the fact that they can use hot glue guns and to learn how to solder it was just so amazing to see the whole process the hardest part was technically soldering and hot glueing when we did a test out from a maze it kind of like- the table was a little slippery so the robot wasn't doing his own job- he was just sliding across on the table so we had to add another layer of rubber right here so for me the thing that I've learned in the project is that you don't necessarily know what you don't know (that's for true) and I think being able to come into the classroom is extremely valuable it's taking all the assumptions that we've made in saying these are good assumptions or these aren't good assumptions so now we have a much better idea of what works and how we can potentially scale it this was too far in so it would go really slow and then if you glue it back sharper it goes a lot faster the resistors seperate LEDs too much electricity these are the LED lights right here these are the switches, battery holder- battery holder with batteries in it these are paper clips these are other kinds of switches these are resistors these are the motors this is the that we soldered the wires on with their depth of understanding was was surprising to me and I don't know why it should have been and somebody said to me today "there should not be the exception, why aren't we teaching like this all the time" and I'm like "I gotcha! You know why aren't we teaching like this all the time" because it's possible and it's amazing what you can do with kids I think one of the most important values in this kind of project is the hands-on experience so you take a lot of the things that they are reading the books- about atoms and what energy is and what are energy sources and they learn about sunlight is an energy source but actually using a solar cell and being able to apply it to transfer that energy and see it for themselves to light up the LED I think that is an enriching experience in itself