LEGO MindStorms Robotics Workshops  in November 2014, sponsored by Google Australia.

We are very grateful for a generous grant from Google that will facilitate robotics programming workshops in Burnie on 27th, Launceston on 25th and Hobart on 19th of November 2014. In each case the location will be a computer laboratory situated in University of Tasmania premises. The workshops will be presented by Ying Chen of the University of Tasmania, with assistance from Dr. Graeme Faulkner. These workshops follow on from the successful workshops Google kindly sponsored in 2013.

Workshop Format.

These half-day workshops are planned to allow participants to take part in hands-on beginner-level experiences with RoboMatter's new Virtual Robotics, which have the potential to reduce costs. We will also cover new developments in Educational Robotics, and will show examples of the VEX IQ, a MATRIX robot, two Raspberry Pi GoPiGo robots, two "Little Bits" electronics demonstration kits, and information on the soon-to-be-released Edison Robot and RoboMatter's Graphical RobotC. It is anticipated that the experience of attending the workshop will assist teachers to think about extending their Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics curriculum teaching by incorporating fun robotics activities. No previous experience in programming will be needed by participants in these workshops.

Current plans include extending the current workshops in future years, pending further funding. 

Workshop Cost.

Because of Google's kind support, attendance at these workshops will be free.

Presenters

Ying Chen is a lecturer in Information Systems in the University of Tasmania. Her practical robotics experience extends over half a decade, encouraging her daughter Yaya Lu's LEGO robotics work in Primary and Secondary Schools, which has included Yaya's State, Australian and RoboCup World firsts, Yaya's accepted paper in  an International IEEE Bioengineering Conference in Thailand, and her BHP-Billiton winning Engineering award resulting in her representing Australia in the 2013 Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, where she gained a first citation (see http://www.YayaLu.net ).

Dr. Graeme Faulkner is currently retired after half a century working in Engineering organizations, and teaching Engineering and Computer Science subjects at various Universities.

In the eight years since retiring, Graeme has joined Ying and Yaya to produce resources that assist teachers to use robotics as part of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics education in Primary and Secondary Schools. The team has also run Adult Education and University robotics workshops, as well as workshops for special interest groups and assisted teachers in several school robotics programs.

In 2012 free beginner-level LEGO MindStorms NXT robotics video tutorials on the http://www.DrGraeme.net  web site drew millions of hits from 158 countries, with Google Translate reporting translations into 40 languages. In 2013 these hits increased by 50%, and the team produced  http://www.DrGraeme.org to make free LEGO MindStorms EV3 robotics tutorials available worldwide. In 2014 the team has extended this work, providing a free robotics course for absolute beginners at https://www.udemy.com/fun-with-beginner-LEGO-mindstorms-ev3-robotics/, which has over 3,000 student enrollments.

Ying and Graeme hope to use their combined experience to present down-to-earth, practical, and hopefully entertaining workshops introducing RoboMatter's beginner-level screen-based video tutorials. The tutorials will work for both LEGO's Home and Education sets.

Registering for a Workshop.

Registration for these workshops will be available later this year, but you can register early interest by email to Ying.Chen@UTas.edu.au .

Thanks to Google

Both presenters wish to express their gratitude to Google, as these workshops could not be offered if it were not for the support from this generous company and their CS4HS programme.