Earth Day is April 22! Celebrate with Dash!
Carrie Willis (@carriewillis18) and her elementary students at Valley Preparatory School in Redlands, CA, found a way to celebrate Earth Day with their entire school community — that included Dash! As part of a school-wide recycling initiative, the students at Valley Prep were able to use prior knowledge about recycling and coding to help Dash make good choices when disposing of waste on campus.
“The students love robots, so including Dash is the perfect way to engage students in the lesson, and help to reinforce important curriculum topics, while also teaching important coding and computer science skills.” — Carrie Willis, Technology Director
First, Mrs. Willis gathered some simple materials:
- one Dash robot
- one gridded mat
- cups of varying sizes
- 4 trash can labels: Paper & Cardboard, Plastic, Aluminum, Compost
- various images representing paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum and compost items
Mrs. Willis laid out a gridded mat as the challenge space, to help with measurements (see our article on how to create a DIY gridded mat). She attached the four trash can labels to the larger cups and placed them upside down in a row at the end of the mat. Then she added a recyclable’s image on each of the smaller cups. These smaller cups, representing cardboard boxes, plastic containers, banana peels, etc., were scattered around the mat.
The challenge was for students to program Dash to collect and sort the recyclables. The students had to first move Dash to one of the smaller cups and position the robot behind the cup. Then to deliver the item to the appropriate recycle bin, Dash had to push the cup in the right direction without moving past the bin.
“Robots are fun to use in real-world scenarios, because robots are relevant to the time that we live in. People in the 21st century use robots for nearly everything, and for students to learn how to program is giving us a head start to the future.” — Kate Donez, 6th grade student
Here are a few more Earth Day activity ideas for Dash:
- Celebrate Earth’s 4.5 billionth birthday (give or take a few years) with a song and dance routine.
- Traverse a map of the globe and pre-record Dash to tell scientific fun facts about the biomes or regions.
- Use the bulldozer attachment to clear a field or create an original attachment to pick up “litter.”
- Write poems in honor of Earth Day and have Dash recite the rhymes.
- Toss seeds into furrows (well, balls into cups) with Launcher.
- Dress up Dash as your favorite Earth inhabitants using the Building Brick Connectors.
- Navigate Dash through an imaginary habitat, while avoiding the endangered species.
What can you dream up for Earth Day with Dash? Share your ideas, photos, and videos with us on Twitter @WonderWorkshop: