The Beginings of the LRES Robotics Project

The LRES Nature Trail Project has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, but that’s all behind us now.  I’ve gotten many of my physical supplies, including the big ones; the laptops and the Lego Mindstorms kits.  I’m still researching to find the perfect video camera system in my budget range, but I’m less worried about that.

Now the challenge is getting the right students for the group.  The plan is to keep it to third and fourth graders, and now I need to start gathering them.  I’ve asked the classroom teachers for nominations, which should come in any day now.

This entire year, however, has been a giant whirlwind of activity, especially with all the unexpected that’s been thrown into the mix.  I figured it would be a wild ride and I’d be stretched thin with everything going on (I’m getting married in December), but unexpectedly changing jobs this summer, from a special education teacher/case manager to the health teacher, has added a new layer of challenge, especially considering my co-grant writer took a position at a new school, so is no longer here to assist.  Luckily, one of our second-grade teachers, Mrs. O’Neill, has stepped up and into the role, though she is adamant that she knows nothing about robotics or programming.  I don’t know programming either, but wisely, we included programming lessons into our grant budget.  We’re going to have to start that part soon.

Still, aside from stressing about writing this blog, and wondering about whether I’m doing it right or it’s just coming out as a jumbled, stream-of-consciousness word-salad, I think the project is right on track for now.  Within the next couple of weeks, I plan to:  have the first group meeting, lay out my expectations of the team, figure out if programming lessons are really necessary considering the entire robot will be built using Lego, and order the final pieces of hardware we’ll need for the bot.

Man, this is so totally worth it…

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