Beginners Guide to FRC: Engineering Design Level 1 (Co-written by ChatGPT)

I decided to start writing general FRC lessons with the aid of ChatGPT to speed up my writing time. I know what’s correct or not, I compare against the manuals, QA, etc and come up with prompts to force it to write about the subject in question. This is a fantastic speed improvement and it still ensures accurate information since it’s double checked by me as my lessons normally would be. Now I just don’t have to type it all myself. If you have any feedback, suggestions, etc let me know. I’ve included them all as pictures below and the a pdf. This is the first full topic. I also did a small sample of command based programming but it’s still a w.i.p.




















Pdf copy
Beginner’s Guide to FRC-ENGD1.pdf (623.3 KB)

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For people who are curious the workflow goes something like this:

Start a PowerPoint with a topic in mind. Typically this has been based on Firstbadges.com since it kind of sets a minimum expectation of what students should know in FRC. It’s not complete but it’s good enough to get prompt ideas. This PowerPoint is half based on that level 1 engineering design badge as well as just a general focus on the Engineering Design process. I limited myself to 20 slides as a cap and I figured roughly 2 minutes per slide for a student to read.

Once I have my starting prompts together I start asking ChatGPT lots of questions. One prompt was "Describe the engineering design process to an elementary school student, a middle school student and then a high school student. This let me judge 3 different excepted knowledge levels for the topic and pick what text sounds appropriate and is accurate.

When it responds I typically need to have to rephrase things, change certain words or I just copy-paste and then manually edit it on the slide. For some of the images I use stable-diffusion 2.1 and give it bare minimum prompts to get purposely abstract and strange images. This helps show that’s it’s AI artwork and not stolen human artwork. (We can debate AI Image Generation if you want, I’d love to discuss that with others!)

This method is like having a teaching assistant who writes a lesson and I critique it back and forth until we end up with something good. It’s faster for me, it gives me another perspective (ChatGPT claims to have no feelings or perspectives) but it’s a subconscious gathering of all of our perspectives so… Idk. Anyways it’s nice to have other ways of stating things. Half of the time writing lessons I know the core concept of what I want to say but not persay 8 good brainstorming ideas. A Google search could yield this data, but it’s not always direct enough or it’s buried under advertising nonsense.

When talking with ChatGPT I highly recommend double checking it against what you know, what First says and what you can find yourself. Still it cut my lesson planning and making time down from about 6 hours to 3. That’s great progress!

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