On July 17, 2013 the Kimroy Bailey & Digital Yard Foundations collaborated on their first Primary School Robotics initiative to increase interest in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) amongst the young. The 3 day camp took place at the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School in Lowe River, Trelawny and featured over 20 grade 5 students who will be moving on to grade 6 in the coming school year. The camp was aimed at preparing these students for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) by allowing them to better appreciate STEM using robotics as the stimulant.
The first day of the camp was over subscribed with 29 students showing up, organizers were only prepared to entertain 15-20 registered students. Volunteers Raymond Ferguson, Marcel Clarke and Kimroy Bailey did not turn away any of the eager learners and at 9:00 am a 10 minute devotion and prayer kick started what would turn out to be 3 days of science inspiration for these young minds.
Students were then given an overview of what to expect over the next 3 days and built on the mantra: “Science will be my favorite subject”. Their eyes shone brightly when the first Lego kit was unveiled. They were divided in 4 groups of 5 with the registered students and the remaining 9 students who were primarily younger than the prescribed curriculum we created were all placed in one group. Each group was given a Lego kit and was made to familiarize themselves the kit for the first hour of the camp.
After familiarizing themselves to the Lego kit and using the blocks to make basic structures the group was wowed by a robotic demonstration from The Digital Yard Foundation. The demonstration was prepared by young roboticists Farley Artwell and Kristoof Howell who traveled from Kingston along with one of Digital Yard’s founding members Ms. Erica Simmons to present in Trelawny. The show wowed the kids who looked on in amazement at the power of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
What is Science
Introduction to Simple Machines – Wheel/Axles, Pulleys, Levers and Inclined Planes
Mechanisms and Stuctures – Geats, Cams and Ratchets
What is Force and Motion
Force and Motion
Friction as an Opposing Force
The Force of Gravity
What is Energy
Energy and its Uses
Sources of Energy (Non-Renewable and Renewable)
Using Energy to Apply Force
Gearing up/down and wheel selection
What have we learned
Presentation of Certificates
Assembling Simple Machines with the Lego Kit
Working with Mechanisms Gears and Structures with Lego Kit
The Sweeper and Fishing Rod from Lego Kit
The Measurement Robot with Lego Kit
Capturing Energy – The Windmill and Land Yatch with Lego Kit
Building Powered Machines – The Powered Car and Dragster with Lego Kit
Presentation of Awards
The Kimroy Bailey and Digital Yard Foundation 3 day summer was truly a superb experience for the students who came out and the volunteers that delivered the 3 day curriculum. The Principal of the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School has expressed her gratitude that her school in rural Jamaica was selected for this pilot project. We are all looking forward to unveiling a series of such programs formally embedded in Jamaica’s primary and high school curriculum to accelerate Science Technology, Engineering and Math among our students.