BloxBot-logo

What Is BloxBot?

Let's face it: School isn't fun. You have to sit for 8 hours every day and listen carefully to what someone is telling you. Then you have a million people telling you all this information is important, but you're just wondering "When am I ever gonna use this?!"

Enter BloxBot.

We're a revolutionary idea in how we handle STEM education. We're not lecturing, we're discovering. We're opening up a whole new way of thinking about science and mathematics. And we're doing it with Legos.

Primary Objectives

We're looking to link the various worlds of STEM education. Currently, most students don't learn the connections between Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Even worse, most of the study is theoretical, making it harder to see where you'll use it.

We intend to use all of the principles of STEM together, so students can see how everything is linked. From calculating how large a resistor they need to power a motor to designing their own robots using practical engineering skills, students will get to have hands on practice using all of these subjects they learn in schools. Students will have the ability to choose whether they work alone or in small groups, working at whatever pace suits them socially and academically.

We believe that students can figure out solutions to most problems without excessive teacher intervention, so long as they are given the appropriate resources to do so. We have no tests, no homework, and no single right way of doing things. If it works (and doesn't start on fire), it's a correct answer.

What Will They Learn?

The first lessons we do start with a device called the Makey Makey. It's a plug-and-play device that teaches circuits with no programming required. They're simple devices that teach some great lessons and are a lot of fun to use. And why not? How many opportunities do you get to build a banana piano?

Later on in the program, students will design their own Makey Makey program to implement.

Lessons Learned
The next lessons involve learning to think like a computer. We'll build imaginary programs from the ground up, learning step-by-step thinking that computers need. We'll then transition to Python and alter our first computer programs. This will build the next part of the foundation for the rest of the program.

Lessons Learned:
Arduino is the backbone to everything we do moving forward. We'll start simply, learning to wire and code series' of blinking lights. Students will learn to use code libraries, basic application of the lessons learned in the Intro to Programming class, and application of the lessons from the Makey Makey class.

The sky's the limit when it comes to Arduino. If you can imagine it, you can probably build it. It's a system you'll never stop learning with, and fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there.
This is the really fun part. Arduino can only do so much by itself. Once you start building robots out of Legos, you can add all sorts of rolling, walking, and jumping parts. But you'll need to learn how to build them in the most efficient ways possible, and predict how many Legos you'll need. You'll need to figure out the load they can take, and the best place to attach your Arduino.

The combination of Lego engineering and Arduino is a match made in heaven.


The Necessary Details

Time/Days:

1st and 3rd Saturdays from 1-3

Cost:

$90 per student covers their own Arduino kit and Makey Makey to take home

Who are We?

Kimberly Lewis is a computer programmer and web developer who was originally based out of Steamboat Springs, but found herself temporarily in Nashville where she cooked up an idea with her good friend, Amy Flatt. She's a robotics enthusiast and a maker with a passion for teaching and learning things (sometimes the hard way). She believes education is a life-long endeavor and that the internet has opened the world of knowledge to everyone, so long as they have someone who can show them where to look.

Amy Flatt is a science teacher turned game developer with 15 years of experience in education. She's passionate about kids and code, and has been part of Young Coders since its inception. She joined Kimberly and her hairbrained idea for an education program two years ago and provided the science curriculum side of the technological know-how.

Together, they make up the BloxBot team. Originally, they planned to create the program as a less costly alternative to First and Best Robotics, brought into Nashville's Metro School District where around 60% of the students are on lunch assistance. This will be the first full trial run of the entire program.