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Lego creates a Mindstorm for Year 8s

Year 8 Galen students, Nicholas Michalowski and Tristan Roleff test their Lego Mindstorms ‘carpet cleaning’ robot.

For most students, a school subject based around Lego construction would hardly seem like serious, academic learning. However, for a group of Year 8 Galen Catholic College boys, Lego isn’t just for little kids! Students studying a Robotics elective at the school have been working with Lego Mindstorm kits for the past few weeks. “Through self-directed learning, students experiment with constructed robots and vehicles then program their creations to carry out tasks through connected computer software. This is truly learning for the future,” explained teacher James Heath. “We programmed our carpet cleaning robot to pick up bits of Lego as it moves across the floor,” said Nicholas Michalowski. Tristan Roleff also explained, “The computer program, NXT Mindstorms allows us to give a robot a series of commands, which it then carries out.” Tristan also mentioned that he is seriously considering pursuing a career in Robotics in the future. With a great energy in the classroom, it was clearly evident that the students were highly engaged as they constructed, tested and programed their collaborative projects. Several other students in the class also added that they have thoroughly enjoyed studying the subject this semester.