At our second meeting of the Talawanda Middle School STEAM Club we had eleven students in attendance for our two hour meeting. Some of the kids from the first week were back as well as several new students. One of our goals with STEAM programming is to attract more girls and underrepresented minorities to STEM areas of study so we were thrilled to have seven girls at our meeting this week! This session was spent getting to know the programming capabilities of the EV3 systems and making some basic mechanisms.
We have several copies of Yoshihito Isogawa's, The Lego Mindstorm EV3 Idea Book which we have been using with the students. We love this book for a number of reasons, firstly that there are no words or step by step instructions, just pictures of components you can make. The greatest thing about the book is that he shows examples of a number of different basic mechanisms you can build with the kit, various worm drives and gear configurations, as well as varietal ways to make things move without wheels. These examples allow you to jump off from the prescribed configurations Lego describes on their site and really get creative. As we assign particular challenges the students need to navigate in the coming weeks we believe these component ideas will really help them problem solve in uniquely effective ways. I can't wait to see what they come up with.