After our successful workshops last year, we were invited to bring back Design & Debug once again at Bridge Elementary school from 3:30PM – 4:30PM. As usual, the workshop was free and open to everyone grades 3-5. Unlike last year, we were much more well-prepared — presentations were more fluid, interactions with students was even better than before, and we set up an effective RSVP system and coordinated with the school more closely. The workshop was all very smooth — we discussed the different aspects of engineering (e.x. software, hardware), the evolution of technology, and the E.I.D. (Efficiency, ingenuity, diligence) core of engineering. Our Outreach leader also gave the same motivational speech about the thought process of engineering and the elementary students’ own potential as future engineers. We split up the students into groups and gave them a simple pre-programmed NXT chassis and a large supply of materials to complete the Jellybean Challenge (akin to making a dispensing system in FTC) and the Angle Shot Challenge (akin to a making a scoring system in FTC). One major change we did to the program was upgrade our “Big Al” NXT, which we used to showcase programming previously, to also be able to be manually driven by students — an activity all of the students enjoyed.
Like before, we received a lot of positive feedback from parents and students. Even the most reserved or shyest students were sad to leave by the end of the workshop, and it was great to see the smiles on the students’ faces when they finally completed a challenge. All in all, the Bridge Workshop was a good revival of the Design & Debug workshops and we will likely be bringing our weekly after school classes to Bridge in the future.