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Appears in:
Pages: 324-332
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

TEACHING ROBOTICS AND PROGRAMMING WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS FOR STUDENTS IN ALL AGES

U. Ihme

Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
At the Robotics Institute of University of Applied Sciences Mannheim LEGO MINDSTORMS is used on the one hand for the Education in the fields of robotics and programming for university students. On the other hand it is used for school students as an addition in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in different ways and at different levels.

In summer 2012 at the Robotics Institute a special learning playing field for school students was created, inspired by the Robot Game of the First Lego League (FLL). The intention for this was to have a playing field, which includes all beginner tasks, like to go a certain distance straight forwards or to stop by pressing the touch sensor. This playing field has the name Explore Mars. Within the beginning of 2013 the idea came up to use Explore Mars also in the education for students.

The Explore Mars field is divided into two parts. The first part is the so-called control center. In this part the students should learn how to program a robot, how the robot reacts and how to use different sensors, especially the standard sensors of the LEGO MINDSTORMS System. From the control center part the robot should “fly” on a defined trajectory to the Mars. The Mars is the second part of the playing field. In this field the students are free to solve different tasks on their own way. At the end the robot should come back to the control center.

For programming the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robots different programming languages may be used. These are at the one side graphical programming languages, like NXT-G, Robolab and LabView and one the other side text-based programming languages, like C, special C-based languages for example NXC or Robot C and JAVA.

In the paper it will be shown, how the Explore Mars playing field can be used to introduce the LEGO NXT System to the students and how it can be used to teach different programming languages in different courses or in one course parallel. Furthermore it will be presented, how it is possible to take into respect the different levels of programming knowledge of school and university students. Therefore a modular teaching concept was developed. This concept consists of following modules: NXT System, Explore Mars and different modules for the programming languages. For creating a course the relevant slides from all modules will be put together into one presentation.

In the module NXT includes for example the technical data of the LEGO NXT System, description of the different sensors, which can be used. The Explore Mars module contains the description of the different missions of the playing field including a video of a possible mission solution. Programming languages modules for NXT-G and NXC are realized. They are designed for beginners in each language. For students, which have experience for example in C programming, only the slides with the special code segments for programming the robot will be used.

If more than one programming languages will be used in one course, it is suggested that the first missions of Explore Mars will be solved by all students in all used programming languages.

Due to the modular concept it is possible to build in new modules. New programming languages can be added e. g. JAVA. Also an extension of the modular concept for the new LEGO MINDSTORMS System EV3 is possible.
@InProceedings{IHME2013TEA,
author = {Ihme, U.},
title = {TEACHING ROBOTICS AND PROGRAMMING WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS FOR STUDENTS IN ALL AGES},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {324-332}}
TY - CONF
AU - U. Ihme
TI - TEACHING ROBOTICS AND PROGRAMMING WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS FOR STUDENTS IN ALL AGES
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 324
EP - 332
ER -
U. Ihme (2013) TEACHING ROBOTICS AND PROGRAMMING WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS FOR STUDENTS IN ALL AGES, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 324-332.
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