The parts boxes were points of intense interest as educators and youth leaders attending the Lego League Robotics workshop searched for the perfect parts to build their robots. › View Larger Photo
Teachers, Youth Leaders Learn All About Robotics
Twenty-two educators from throughout the high desert and nearby areas learned first-hand how to incorporate robotics into their science technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum during a Lego Robotics Workshop May 21 at Joe Walker Middle School in Quartz Hill.
The workshop was co-sponsored by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and the AERO Institute, Lancaster High School's Eagle Robotics and the Antelope Valley Boys and Girls club, as well as the host school.
The objective of the workshop was to show the teachers and others attending how to start a LEGO robotics team at their school or organization. The educators learned the basics of building, programming and operating a LEGO robot, and even engaged in a mini competition at the end of the workshop.
Cecilia Cordova from NASA Dryden's Office of Education provided an overview about NASA Education and its involvement with the FIRST robotics programs. Jeremy Pontius, computer lab instructor and mentor of the Lego Robotics team at Joe Walker Middle School, detailed the nuts and bolts of starting and coaching a FIRST Lego League team in their communities. Pontius' son Nicholas, a member of the Lancaster High Eagle Robotics Team, walked the educators through designing and programming their robot to accomplish tasks on the playing field. Two students from the team also served as mentors.
Adrianne Holmes from Tierra Bonita Elementary school, which has a NASA sponsored LEGO team, provided her perspective on starting a team and the hurdles an educator faces to establish and sustain extra-curricular programs.
Beth Ercek, counselor for robotics with the local Boys Scouts of America organization, noted that the Boy Scouts have established a new robotics badge and shared with the group what resources were available to the scouts.
Teachers and other youth leaders attending represented Hesperia High School, Tehachapi High School, Boy Scouts Troop #19, Academy for Academic Excellence from Apple Valley, Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Club, Millionaire Mind Kids group from Apple Valley, Pasadena LEARNS/Marshall Fundamental School, Skyline North School in Barstow, Vanguard Preparatory School in Apple Valley, Mojave Junior-Senior High School, Beattie Middle School in Redlands, El Dorado and Lincoln elementary schools and Armargosa Creek Middle School in Lancaster.
NASA photos by Tom Tschida
Alan Brown, public affairs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center