Sending Lego Mindstorms racing around a track in Shirley Hall is not just about having fun – it is of course about helping Year 7 computer science students develop computational thinking and problem solving, explained part-time track steward and full-time Maths teacher Mr Burgess.
The students had to create an algorithm and pre-set it into a laptop so that the robotic Mindstorms could automatically steer themselves around the track.
This extra-curricular exercise was such a success that it will be – literally – rolled out to other years, said Miss Wilson, whose idea it was. She said: “We’d thought about using Lego as a means of teaching coding and the students loved this idea.”
Mr Stokes, who laid-out the fiendish course himself with masking tape, said: “The students built the Mindstorm robots using instructions and we ran individual competitions across the six Year 7 forms with a winning pair from each for the final.”
Reflecting on the event a member of 7 Blundell, said: “It has taken a while to get used to being able to program the Mindstorms to change direction and power, but it’s been great fun.”
Students in 7 Styth agreed, saying that devising different algorithms for the different courses was “really enjoyable – which we didn’t expect!”