East Texas Teachers Playing Around With LEGOS Robots - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/19/07-Longview

East Texas Teachers Playing Around With LEGOS Robots

Who says LEGOS are just for kids? Well certainly not 20 East Texas teachers who are participating in a LEGOS Robotics Workshop at LeTourneau University this week. The workshop not only teaches the instructors a little something about mechanics, but also seems to be bringing out the child in all of them.

Crawling around on the floor, pitting robot against robot, and even firing darts at each other---believe or not, the 20 East Texas teachers participating are learning something.

"We're up to the point now where we're learning how to adjust angles of fire, and we're doing some heavy mathematics with the robot itself," says Trinity School of Texas Math Teacher Tim Kennedy.

It's the second to last day of a two-week workshop where each teacher gets a robot and a kit of LEGOS.  They've been programming the robot to perform different tasks.

But as much fun as they're having, they say it's all for their students.

"The idea is that the teachers can take back with them both hardware, software, and then the ideas that we've given them so that they can implement those ideas in their classrooms," says LETU professor Steve Armstrong.

It's a hands-on way to get kids excited about math and science and show them how to apply the ideas to real life situations.

"So instead of just drawing some designs up on the board, we can actually use the robot to demonstrate a principal in the classroom," Kennedy adds.

And with these robots the possibilities are endless. 

"There are temperature sensors, there's a magnetic sensor, you can attach a compass to it," Ore City High School Science Teacher Sally Cariker.

It's a high-tech gadget that will bring some serious fun into the classroom ... maybe a little too much fun.

The workshop was made possible through an $86,000 grant from UT Austin's Dana Center. The teachers get to keep their robots and the $400  kit to use in their classroom.

Tracy Watler, Reporting. tracy@kltv.com

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