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Why limit your child’s exposure to computer programming to just a single hour annually? Fischertechnik provides the materials and curriculum support to engage students in basic computer programming skills year round.
Last month I shared how excited we were to discover the Introduction to STEM I Kit in my post Play and Learn with Fischertechnik. We have since spent weeks building the various models and discovering how everyday technology and simple machines actually work.
How Does It Work In Our Homeschool?
When the Introduction to STEM I & II Kits arrived at our home, we immediately opened all of the materials and of course Jeffrey was SO excited to just BUILD something. I let him experiment with all of the pieces for a few weeks and he built model after model. It wasn’t long before the models he was building caught the attention of his older sister. She wanted in on the fun as well.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we sat down with our cousins (the more the merrier!) and installed the software. This was as easy as putting the disc in the computer.
Computer Programming with Fischertechnik
The girls jumped right in and immediately began to CONSTRUCT a merry-go-round model without any problems. The instructions took them through the process step by step. The process is very achievable for this age level.
They then spent a little time with the software and soon figured out the basic PROGRAM to get the wheel to operate a series of simple commands. The ROBO Pro light software programming is drag and drop, so it’s very easy to learn! A sample is given on screen as well as in the accompanying guide book.
After the model had been built, it was time to CONTEMPLATE why things worked they way they did and for further experimentation. Once the girls were familiar with what each of the different buttons did, they were ready to begin experimenting in all kinds of ways.The curriculum guide provides suggestions for assessment questions to aide students in reflecting on the process.
Finally, students are invited to CONTINUE their learning with more experimentation and a challenge to build and program more complex models and interactions. My daughter is now motivated to learn MORE.
The Introduction to STEM II kit allows elementary classrooms of different ages to enter the exciting world of STEM and learn the basic skills of computer programming – an exciting activity for young people.
Making the Investment in Fischertechnik
If your child is interested in engineering and computer programming, I strongly suggest you invest in Fischertechnik products.
While the cost may at first seem high (the kits begin at $99), you receive a versatile set of bricks, sensors, motors, and a USB connection, along with the software and teacher’s guide. This enables your student to build the 12 models, but from there the creativity is LIMITLESS.
The Introduction to STEM I kit contains 500 pieces with instructions for building 40 different models in all. Students can build a centrifugal governor, manual transmission, block and tackle, wind turbine, a beam balance, and so much more.
The Introduction to STEM II contains 200 additional fischertechnik parts, including:
- ROBO LT Controller (USB interface/USB power supply)
- ROBO PRO Light software
- An XS motor
- 2 lights
- A lens tip lamp
- 2 switches
Of course, my kids love the models they have made with the instructions, but they also loves to be creative. They have now begun experimenting with the variety of components.
The beauty of this is that they are thinking through problems and solutions; asking good questions. Skills that will serve them later in life.