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Learning Core Subjects With Robots

September 2, 2012, 5:28 PM by Nicole Winters

Learning Core Subjects With Robots
HARTFORD, SD -

It's not the typical math and science class. Sixth-grade students at West Central Middle School are trying their hand at robotics. It's probably one of the more fun assignments these students have gotten.

"We’re kids and we like building with Legos," Jackson Miller said.

But putting together the pieces involves following strict instructions and a lot of thinking.

"It teaches them how sequence works, so they think steps through logically one by one and then arrive at an eventual overall goal," West Central Math Teacher Jacob Sittig said.

The goal is to create a working robot.  Sittig teaches the sixth-grade robotics class using Legos and computer programming.

"The purpose of the robotics class is to introduce kids who have never had any idea what programming or steps of programming are," Sittig said.

"We get to build cool stuff for our robots and go through and see how we can program them," Emma DeCou said.

The computer programming can be challenging because for many students it's a new way of thinking and learning.

"We’re kind of working with math and science and computers," Miller said.

Students are required to take the hands-on exploratory class. Sittig hopes it gives students a new perspective on the core subjects. But most of all he wants them to enjoy the learning process.

"I hope they have fun.  I hope they learn a little about programming, but I hope they really have fun and introduce them to a new topic," Sittig said.

It’s a hope that seems to be working.

"I think it's a lot better than just reading," DeCou said.

"It’s really fun," Miller said.

The students are using new high-tech Legos to create their robots.

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