Odyssey of the Mind Students Create Robots

Fifteen future computer scientists were busy conducting a final check of their robots and synchronizing them to their computer programs last Wednesday, as they prepared to present their creations to the other student teams, as part of their final robotics session at La Cañada Elementary School's Odyssey of the Mind after school program for third through sixth graders.

The five, three member student teams were given a Legos Mindstorm kit to build and then program it via a computer to perform a function or maneuver a specific course.

After the robots were built, names like the Bug, Mac and RDJ (the first name initials of the team) were assigned to them. The students decided on which task their robot would perform and then had to create a computer program to direct it.

"It was fun building it. Everyone had to work together, because it was hard," said student Katie Lee.

Mac performed a song, making different sounds, even a whistle, while RDJ had his movements put to music, specifically dancing to the Larger than Life song, moving his arms and turning circles.

Student Matthew Lee said, "Programming the robot was fun because we decided when it should move its arms and make sounds."

The robotics Odyssey of the Mind students are Jared Arat, Clair Bierman, Connor Bradley, Daniel Dickinson, Michael Glidewell, Ryan Hobart, Justin Jenkins, Andrea Klien, Kane Lafia, Katie Lee, Matthew Lee, Mitchell Ma, Christopher Madsen, Justine Michel and Ethan Steinberg and assisted by LCE teachers Mandy Redfern and Jan Rappleye

Gayle Jenkins and Rene Steinberg are the parent co-chairs for Odyssey of the Mind.

"It was a unique opportunity for the students to create their own robots in a team. Besides the problem solving tasks, the exercise promoted creative thoughts, team building and a wonderful sense of accomplishment," said Steinberg.

The next Odyssey of the Mind session will have a different creative twist for students. They will be asked to prepare a script and produce a skit, including the costumes and props

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