Difficult personal circumstances have proven a bit of a blow to home schooling these past few weeks. With my mind distracted by other things, our well planned curriculum has gone to pot. Despite everything that's been going on, Jenson's desire to learn hasn't been affected. At times when I've not been able to take the lead, he has adopted some great self initiated learning. This robot project was one of those times.
It was on one particular morning this week that he pulled out his Lego book and started to flick through the pages pondering what to make. Together, we decided on this mini robots project. It was a great fun STEM learning activity and a great exercise in engineering.
I explained to Jenson how robots are becoming more and more important in today's technological world. We looked at a few robots that had been in the news recently, from driverless lorries to search and rescue snakes. I explained to him that robots are full of technology but they all have to start with a good design.
I gave each of us an egg box, which we used for sorting components. We then went through one of Jenson's LEGO trays pulling out small parts including angled plates, connectors, hinges, flat tiles, studs, knobs, nose cones, round bricks, accessories and holders of various kinds. Building mini robots is the perfect opportunity to learn how to use these small parts to create awesome details.
We spent an enjoyable few hours together sat around the kitchen table. We had a good giggle at each other's creations and had fun making up stories about each robot.
Jenson's designs are very inventive and creative, I particularly enjoyed the sniffer ant and digging dog. The inspiration behind this unlikely duo comes from Blue Planet. Jenson is an avid fan and the strange animals he sees on TV have clearly left a lasting impression in his memory. Just last week he recreated a scene in his pollution project about a grouper fish and an octopus working together to catch food, (something he had seen on Blue Planet.) This week that concept of team work between two very different species came out via the ant and the dog - the ant sniffs out the food and the dog digs it up. Sometimes the ant gets the reward and sometimes the dog does. I absolutely love how Jenson processes information from the world around him and then reinterprets it via LEGO.