Similar to the OP of this thread from 2019, our school has decided to introduce a robotics class during the school day. We also have a new coach who will teach the class. I’m interested in advice, including insights from people who run HS robotics classes, & including the folks who said in 2019 they were initiating school robotics classes. (I’m sure COVID messed things up, but how’s it been going? What are the lessons learned?) @coach7318, @rsegrest, @AJohnson342, @Low3arth0rbit, @sanddrag, @sthump, @CRobinson, @SurfGear, @MrKniess
Clear goals of the class:
1. Robotics education using an FRC context, including educating non-team members who take the class. I mention this because I think it affects scope and approach.
2. Pre-build season training time that will help students be more productive during build season. Historically, students have had little pre-build season time (~an hour every other week plus a couple extra meetings as January nears). We’d like to get closer to the model of preparatory learning during pre-build and application of what was learned during build.
3. More time during build season. With the new coach, it’s not clear yet what our weekly schedule will be during build season, but historically the team has had a below-average amount of build time (~9 to 12 hours per week, with weeks off for finals and mid-winter break).
Challenges I anticipate:
- At our college prep-focused school, many students will only be able to “afford” to take the class once (or twice at most). They will need to spend class timeslots on other classes. To effectively achieve the third goal above, ideally the whole team could take the class every year (or at least 2nd semester once an upper classman), but that seems impossible.
- As was raised in the 2019 thread, non-team members may (I assume) be able to sign up for the class and may even be a sizeable contingent within the class. So, especially during build season when team members will want to be making progress on the robot, how does that work?
- Multiple levels or “classes within the class”. Some students will be taking Robotics 1, some Robotics 2 (they already took 1), etc. I suspect there will be only 1 class period, but there will be a need for the teacher to address sub-groups of students who are at different places in their learning journey.
I’m trying to do whatever I can to help the teacher figure out how to set up the class. I’ve found a decent amount of content that can help build a curriculum, but it seems as or more important to figure out the structure/approach relative to those goals/challenges. Any and all advice is welcome. I’ll share it with the coach/teacher. Thanks!