Why “Project-Challenge Trees”?
It’s not (just) about the robots!
(There are many robots you can choose for your robotics-based Early Learning Advantage STEM Program. See “How to Choose a Robot“)
- Robots are ideal tools for introducing young children to the Game of STEM.
- But Robots alone won’t turn our kids into Math & Science Athletes (who can play one of many positions on Team USA: Programmer, Problem-Solver, Applied Mathematician, Engineer!).
- Common weaknesses of project-based learning programs and ⇒ ADD: Robotics Programs specifically
- To do this you need to embed your robots into an accelerated learning environment: what we call Active Learning Zones. See “How Do We Create World Class Math & Science Athletes“
What is an Active Learning Zone? See 5-Step Active Learning Design STEM Checklist
- ◊ 1st. Give Students Clear Learning Goals (Visual Learning “Prepared Paths to Excellence” aka Project-Challenge-Trees™)
- ◊ 2nd. Give Students Choice (Order of Completion, More than One Way to Solve a Problem, Extra Credit Challenges)
- ◊ 3rd. Give Students Clear Feedback on Progress (Visual Tracking & Mastery Checklists: Individual or Group Mastery Exam required for every project!; Teachers are coaches who improve performance, instead of grading it.
- ◊ 4th. Design a Progressive “Tree” of Project-Challenges (When students Pass the exam on a project they should always look up to find a Next-Step Progressive Challenge that builds on the skills & knowledge mastered in earlier Project-Challenges; student see the point of the work!)
- ◊ 5th. Give Students Meaningful Challenges (“Real-world” power over the environment; Skills they can use without their Teacher!; “Real World” Work: kids want to lift Star Fighters, Save the city from monsters, not solve abstract “word problems.” See Ted Radio Talk: How Star Wars energized my physics students.
Teachers|Parents, Download & Print PDF Version for Students’ Robotics Notebooks & for the Refrigerator at Home! • Jr Botball Challenge- Level 1 Project Tree
Why Project Mastery-Checklists?
◊ Got Checklists? Without clear Mastery-Learning Checklists for each Jr Botball Challenge our Math & Science Athletes will not achieve real understanding or skill. To combine Active Problem Solving with Rigor you need…… [LINK-to-POST Best of Both Worlds…] To do that you need a Checklist for Each Project on your Project Challenge Tree.
If you want excellence, you must ask for it: Define it & Expect it—Pass|Try-Again, Assessment & Coaching: try and try again until you’ve mastered each checkbox—before students move on!
Here is the 2018 Jr Botball Level I Syllabus.
Click to download PDF of Syllabus and Project Mastery Checklists: