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Catlin Gabel’s 5th-8th grade Students have been participating in Lego Robotics for ten years. In the fall, our Middle School robotics participants work to prepare for regional and state LEGO Robotics competitions held in December and January. Catlin Gabel’s robotics program is admired statewide. The fall competition is intense and restrictive on what students work on. For that reason, we created Spring Robotics to take the shackles off.
The Spring session runs from April 8th to June 7th and gives 5th thru 7th graders a chance to try out software and mechanical engineering.
Start out by completing the self-paced introduction to programming in NXT-G. After that, the sky’s the limit. Come up with your own ideas for Lego robotic projects or pick one from our list. How about a robot that can draw? One that can beat other robots in Sumo Wrestling? Soccer with Bluetooth radio? A Lego vending machine or monorail? Students should come with the idea they want to learn about engineering and programming, it’s not a Lego free-for-all. No experience required.
Spring Robotics and Fall Competition Teams
We’ve found that the fall FIRST Lego League (FLL) competition teams have a lot more fun if the members already know they like engineering and have a grasp of the basics. To be on a fall FLL team students must either have taken part in Spring Robotics, 7th grade science robotics, Saturday Academy, or be able to demonstrate a high level of skill from work at home.
How the Program Works
Robotics activities are self-paced so students can flex the times they come to meet their schedules. The maximum number of times students can come is twice a week; some one come once. The lab will be open Monday thru Friday with one day reserved for girls only depending on interest. Students may come up to two days a week.
The sessions start at 3:15pm and end at 5:00pm in the Nutshell lab on campus. Students must be picked up promptly at lab or the curb by 5:05pm, or go to After-School Care at that time. The program starts April 8th and continues through June 7th. The lab will be closed April 24th-26th since the Upper School robotics team qualified for the World Championships in St. Louis and Dale will be gone with the team. This is a mixed grade program open only to students attending (or who have been accepted to) Catlin Gabel 5th grade or middle school.
About the Instructor
Dale Yocum is Robotics Program Director at Catlin Gabel and has been leading robotics activities at Catlin Gabel for the last twelve years. He also leads the famous Upper School robotics team at Catlin, the Flaming Chickens. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Clientele Software in Tualatin and manager of many software development groups in Silicon Valley over the course of 23 years. He’s recognized as one of the state’s experts on using robotics as a way to introduce students to science and engineering. He has been awarded Oregon Technology Educator of the Year award.
Sign Up Now
To register for the spring 2013 session click here. The fee of $249 will be billed to your Catlin Gabel account if your student is still a member after two weeks in the class. Try it out. If you have any questions, email Dale at yocumd (at) catlin (dot) edu. Slots are limited, every year we typically fill up the class before the first day.