After our successful Design & Debug Workshop at Fiske, we had another Design & Debug workshop at Hastings — another elementary school in Lexington — in early March of 2013. Like the Fiske workshop, the workshop was free and open to everyone grades 3-5. The only difference was that we did not have a mode of transportation there, so we had to run all the way to the school while carrying our supplies. Other than that, the Design & Debug workshop went as smoothly as Fiske — we talked about the different aspects of engineering (e.x. software, hardware), where we felt the future of engineering was heading, the potential of simple ideas or designs, 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. Again we split up the students into groups and gave them a simple NXT chassis and a large supply of materials to complete the Jellybean Challenge (which involved transporting and dispensing Jellybeans) and the Angle Shot challenge (which involved trying to score a ball into an inconveniently placed goal using a wall and rubber bands). Having had experience from the other workshop though, we were more organized and efficient, and we were able to address the students’ questions in a more concise manner. Just like our previous Design & Debug workshop, many of the students enjoyed the workshop and we received a lot of positive feedback from parents and especially the principal, who also encouraged us to come back with a session of weekly after school engineering classes the next year.
Unfortunately, the other local elementary schools were either being rebuilt or renovated and we were not able to host another Design & Debug workshop that school year, although all of the local schools we contacted expressed their wish for us to email them again the following school year.