Building & Programming Robots in 2nd Grade STEM Class

Using the LEGO WeDo Robotics System, second grade STEM students at Allendale Columbia School have been designing and building interactive structures and smart robots programmed with sensors and actuators. Learning from a team of former corporate engineers, now certified and practicing teachers, young students begin building and programming robots in 2nd grade with being immersed in our hands-on and comprehensive approach to Engineering Education – with designing and debugging taking two forms: hardware and software, along with, implementing Iterative Development & Testing.

In this real world context, students learn engineering principles and professional practices with learning correct vocabulary, terminology, and functionality of all physical elements and electronic components. For instance, students systematically learn about the different types of gears (8, 24, or 40-tooth/spur gears, crown gears, worm gears, etc.) and how they can function as driver, follower, or idler gears.

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Our young students successfully learn to program If-Then, Wait-For, and Repeat Statements with individually building & programming physical models for completing our systematic and comprehensive Project-Based Learning (PBL) Tasks along with, (required) commenting on all coding and sharing out problem-solving, design thinking, debugging, and strategic innovation.

Students self-initiate collaboration and teaming/cross-teaming with further developing 21st century skills throughout our comprehensive robotics and engineering unit. Now in their third year in our STEM programs, our young, second grade students quickly and easily grasp complex building and programming concepts – demonstrating the remarkable results of providing a systematic continuum of real world, Engineering Education beginning in the early elementary years!

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