Looking for a fun, engaging way to incorporate teamwork, problem solving, coding, logic, and math with your students? You should give the Wonder Workshop Robotics Competition a try.
Step 2: Gather the materials that you will need for each team:
Step 3: Prior to trying the first Challenge, give students some time to explore the Wonder App
in the self guided Scroll Quest section. It will familiarize the students with the drag and drop linear and looping picture coding structure in the Wonder App.
I am a teacher at Scholls Heights who ran the Wonder Workshop challenge last year with students from 1st to 5th grades in different groups. I am more than happy to share my experience and hopefully it helps
Initially I was nervous that I didn't know how to run the app well, how to create the code, or how to solve all of the challenges myself. So, I did the tutorials with the students and learned right alongside them. The program provides hints to help as they teach more and more features. Whew! The built in scaffolding was there to support the students and we had discussions about perseverance and problem solving as a team prior to starting which paid off when they encountered an obstacle. They didn't look to me as the answer keeper, but to each other.
This initial exploration time helped greatly with the challenges! I set aside about 2 hours of this team building and function learning time before I presented the first official challenge. After a few lessons in the Wonder app tutorial, it unlocks the Free Play section of the app where students build their own code. I created this Final Challenges document where teams had to show me that they could master some basic tasks before letting them start on the first challenge. Totally optional, but it helped me to make sure that each of my groups was ready.
Once the challenges were issued, I was just facilitating. I would stop by groups and observe, ask them about the challenge, their ideas, what they had tried, what their group was going to try next, what the issues were. I was just the sidelines coach cheering them on, encouraging equal participation, and celebrating the teamwork and creative thinking. When a team completed a challenge, I took a quick video to submit and recorded their code key.
We ended up buying T-shirts, using the Makerspace to create outfits for the robots to wear during the challenge video, and many teams enjoyed creating their own challenges if they finished early. One of our teams was even honored as the top scoring team in Oregon. Students really jumped into this opportunity, learned so very much, and shared that learning with others at science fairs and expos in the area. I'm already being asked to expand to include more students this year! Well worth the time and effort to give students this experience!
As always, your district Innovation Strategist is a resource there to support you with this exciting new endeavor and I am happy to answer any questions that you might have to help you get started too!
District Innovation Strategist
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