Bring us to your camp or school!

Here are some frequently asked questions about our classes:

What’s the difference between the two robotics classes you offer?
Programming? Can elementary school kids do that?
What happens at classes for beginners?
May students take their robotics projects home?
How many kids do we need to form your clubs?
What tools do you offer to make your clubs easier to organize?
How can this be a fundraiser for my PTO?

What’s the difference between the two robotics classes you offer?

Our LEGO® Robotics class is a great program for younger kids and kids who’ve had limited exposure to robotics or LEGOs. In this class, students follow step-by-step directions to build and then program their robots. We encourage students who are ready to improvise and modify their robots and their programs.

Robo Challenge is for older elementary school students who are new to robotics or younger students who have already taken LEGO® Robotics. In this class,instead of giving students step-by-step directions, we give our students a challenge and then ask them to design a robot and program it to meet that challenge. Challenges include: build a bridge that goes up when a boat approaches; build a robotic trap to catch a robotic hexbug …

Programming? Can elementary school kids do that?

YES! LEGO® Education’s WeDo is an award-winning, super simple, drag-and-drop programming language that was designed specifically for kids ages 7 to 11.  Even kids with no computer experience can do this! Here is a screen shot photo from Wired.com, GeekDad column.

 

The program in the middle of the screen shows a motor power button (with a speedometer symbol) and motor direction button, inside a yellow “loop”(repeat order). The orange icon, which stands for a motion sensor, is actually misplaced in this screen shot … Your kids will be able to explain what’s wrong with this picture by the end of the first or second session.

In our Video Game Programming class we use Scratch a drag and drop programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. This language is also specifically designed to be friendly to elementary school kids.

 

What happens at classes for beginners?

Working in pairs (we provide one computer and robotics kit for every two students) , students will:

  • get a fun introduction to basic mechanics and elementary programming concepts
  • build machines & robots using LEGO® bricks, motors, gears, pulleys and/or motion/tilt sensors
  • program their machines and robots using LEGO®’s award-winning WeDo software.

Beginning students will follow step-by-step instructions, while more advanced students will be challenged to build robots that accomplish certain tasks.

May students take their robotics projects home?

No. Students in our robotics classes do not take home projects or LEGO®s, but they have lots of fun!! However, in our video game programming class, we upload their work to a server so they can continue programming at home.

How many kids do we need to form your clubs?

Our clubs are easy to form because we only have room for 12 students. The minimum to form a club is 10.

Because students work in pairs in our robotics classes, we encourage those of similar abilities to work together, and then do our best to work with each student at her own level. A second grader might simply enjoy following directions about how to make a crown gear turn a spur gear; a fourth grader might be more open to learning a bit about gears and gear ratios as they build.

What tools do you offer to make your clubs easier to organize?

We offer the following tool to help you organize our clubs at your school:

  • Flyer design. We design flyers that list and describe the classes you’d like to offer. We customize these flyers for your school. We email them to you so you can do further customization, before sending the flyers home and/or over your listserv.
  • Online registration if you want it. We set it all up and email you the link = a lot less work for you! Parents register online, type in all of their own information, including emergency contact numbers. Then they pay online – payments go directly to us.  This system also allows for payments by check if you’d like to offer this option. When your parents register online through our link, we absorb the processing fees.
  • Shared class roster spreadsheets. We set up spreadsheets where you can type in students’ and parents’ names, contact info and emergency numbers – we’ll have live access to your forms as you update them. You can share the link with your school office.
  • Shared calendar events. When we put your club on our calendar, we invite you and if desired, your school secretary to the event. If you accept the invitation, the event will be mapped to your calendar and you will see any changes to the event as they happen.

How can this be a fundraiser for my PTO?

When you do the work to form any club that runs 8 weeks or longer,  we will donate 7% of collected tuition to your PTA (9 percent for Title I schools).  What’s the work? Reserve the room and sign up parents and collect money, so we can send you one invoice that you can pay with a single check).

If you prefer, we can organize the clubs and handle registration and payment.

We also offer:

  • free tuition to one qualified parent aide per session – if we need an aide from your school.
  • if we ask you to supply a parent aide and that person chooses to waive her free tuition, we will donate that waived tuition to your PTO, in addition to the 7- to 9% of tuition collected.
  • When your school or group runs our classes, we can donate a free birthday party to your school’s silent auction or other fundraiser! We only do this for schools who run our programs.

 

If you wish to bring our classes to your childcare, homeschool, camp or elementary school please e-mail us at questions@learning-gears.com for details

 

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