4272 Class Curriculum

Several years ago, 4272 posted that we had a class in our school.

This class started as mainly a meeting time for students on the robotics team. We taught some basic skills, but nothing extremely formal.

Over time, we decided that we could use it to teach skills to students and have them work on projects. That worked well for us for a few years.

With our team growing to record numbers students, and with many of them preferring to take other classes (but still wanting to be on the team), we decided to end the dedicated robotics class and just be an after-school team.

We still get several requests each year for us to share the curriculum and materials that we use for that class.

Because of those requests, I wanted to make some of our materials public. These are the materials that were created by Zach McKeever or myself. These resources are not enough to fill an entire year of material. The final year we ran the class, we added some digital electronics activities based on this kit: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11006. We also used the second semester to teach a Dobot Curriculum from STEM Education Works: (https://stemeducationworks.com/curriculum/#row-two).

With that, here is the link to our resources. These give an overview of some basic mechanical concepts (as they relate to FRC). There are also some tutorial projects for Autodesk Inventor, and a few lessons on some introductory Digital Electronics. I hope teams and teachers find these useful.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1C0zD8pwB-MiGUjm-k9M2evTa8AL6E_xA?usp=sharing

I may be adding to these topics as a fun project for myself and 4272. If there are other topics that people would be very interested in me adding, please let me know.

Additionally, if there are any errors, or topics that are not explained well, please let me know so I can correct them.

9 Likes

Asking out of curiosity, as I might have a class/part of a class next year.

How much of this class (when it was a more formal class) taught/run/organized by students?
If the class was largely run by students, how many students were “teachers?”
If the class was largely run by students, how did you decide who were “teachers?”
How did you deal with new students that joined the class, but then midway through the semester decided they didn’t want to join the team?
How much of a change did you notice in the general school’s attitude towards the team before and after the class? Would you say that more people know about the team/become interested in the team?
Did you see any change in the amount that new students knew about the team? Did anyone ask you about the team before coming to high school, because they saw it on the catalog (or similar)?

Once we got a bit more formalized, we tried to keep most of the “teaching” done by the teacher in charge charge of the class. We never had 100% involved in the class, so there were additional trainings that were run by students during team meetings.

That being said, since we had students come in from a variety of different experience levels in the team, we split off and did several robotics related projects in the off season. We did things like chassis design, gearbox design, etc. Teams were split strategically by the lead teacher to mix different students of different skill levels. That way the more experienced students would be able to teach the less experienced students.

The new students who joined the class but were not part of the team was a problem we ended up solving the final year of the class. What we did, is the fall semester was dedicated to FRC related content and projects (largely what I shared) and the spring semester was dedicated to the digital electronics and Dobot curriculum. This worked well, because the students who decided not to be part of the team were still learning relevant content, and we weren’t trying to force formalized robotics related projects during the build season.

I really cannot speak to the school attitude to the class before and after the class, because I was not part of the team when the class was originally founded (nor are any current mentors on the team). I do know our school is extremely supportive of the robotics team, which has really helped in our growth.

I think one of the problems we had with the class, is that we generally did a poor job advertising it to brand new students to the school. Part of this is how few electives freshman students get (something like IED may be a better option for a freshman interested in robotics), but I think in general it was not advertised well. We generally got students from other tech courses interested, as well as students who were on the team the year previous.

Hope this helps.

3 Likes

Thank you so much for posting these resources, they’re really a great help. Our team just finished our third season, but we really started getting more serious about it our second year (our rookie year it was very small), and one of the main issues we especially run into is training during the preseason.

I’m trying to develop a curriculum for next year to better prepare the future members, so can you advise me on what to do? What mistakes have you made or things that you learned that you think would help us out? How often and how long do you meet during preseason? I’m thinking of once a week for two hours for our team, but I’d love to hear your advice

Thank you again for this wonderful post

1 Like