Teaching high-school students using robots

2018-05-09 11:14

We, at Shape Robotics, love to follow the impact that Fable helps create for young people. This is a story about a Danish high school that started teaching Fable robotics and math to all first-year pupils.

Pupils programming Fable

Birkerød Gymnasium was one of the first high-schools to start using Fable and is one of our partners where we together test new ideas and develop educational materials. The high school has around 1000 pupils and is idyllically located not far from Copenhagen and less than 10 km away from the Shape Robotics headquarter in Farum.

Birkerød Gymnasium

Our collaboration with Birkerød Gymnasium began when Headmaster, Anders Kloppenborg, and a group of science and math teachers were looking for new ways to teach STEM topics to their pupils. Math and physics teachers Kasper Astrup Eriksen was the first to discover Fable when he read a story in the local technical university magazine that described our research and explained how simple the Fable system was to use even for younger pupils.

After getting their hands-on Fable, the teachers created a “Robotics Group” and scheduled regular meetings where they discussed and explored how they could use the Fable system in their teaching which ranges from physics to math and programming. Several ideas were tested with pupils, for example, how to teach linear regression with data assembled from a Fable robot equipped with a laser pointer. 

High School Pupils Programming Fable

When a local newspaper visited the high school, they asked why they choose to teach with robots:

"The robots are a good way to create interest in the complicated mathematics education”, says math teacher Randi Grange.

Today all 1-years pupils are being taught with Fable as interdisciplinary lessons in mathematics and physics. An example includes using sound to control a Fable robot. This is done using linear and non-linear equations to transform the sound data to angles for controlling the robot. This is how it looked like when the local TV station visited the school (TV2 Lorry, in Danish):

 

On top of the importance of motivating for math, Randi Grange also noted the importance with respect to future jobs:

"Robotic technology is in rapid development and has exciting career opportunities, so it's good that the students get acquainted with the subject."

High School Pupils Programming Fable

In fact, according to a recent study, 30-40% of all jobs are likely to being automated by 2030. Fortunately, the pupils are ready to embrace the new technology and their work with robots can help them inspire their career choices:

"When I started in high school, I would like to read medicine and work as a doctor, but now (...) I have begun to get more interest in, for example, medical research and manufacturing, so programming can be relevant to me in the future", says first-year student Anna Olesen.

If you would also like to get started with educational robotics, feel free to contact us on hello@shaperobotics.com. You can also book a 30-day free trial of the Fable system, available in many European countries.

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