4-H LEGO® Robotics: Learning to Love Science & Technology

By Mary Stewart

WOODBURN, Ore. — Lincoln Elementary School students are applying math and science concepts as they build a robot and make it work.

According to Cristian Curiel, the Oregon State University Extension faculty who teaches the afterschool sessions, students practice what they learn in the classroom through hands-on activities in the 4-H robotic club. “They learn how to solve problems in a fun, positive and low pressure environment,” says Cristian.

“It makes me want to do more science,” says Gerald Plascencia, a 5th grader from Woodburn. “I have learned how to read and follow instructions. I have also learned that it is important not to mix two or more kits to build robots,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

Lincoln Elementary students who participate in the afterschool club build a small robot out of LEGO Mindstorm NXT kits and program the robot to carry out as many missions as possible on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field.

The team has the opportunity to compete in one or more robotics tournaments around Oregon and Washington.

4-H is the youth development program of the OSU Extension Service. Youth in grades four through 12 may belong to various 4-H clubs centered on areas of interest that include not just robotics but also photography, camping, livestock, foods and 100 other project areas.

For more information about 4-H, contact the Marion County office of Oregon State University Extension in Salem, 503-588-5301