Highlights of the Golden Flashes Jr. STEAM Team

The Golden Flashes Jr. STEAM Team has had an exciting few days in the AT&T Classroom. Building from their work earlier this week with LEGO WeDo Robotics, the campers learned to program Ozobot Bit smart toy robots. The Ozobot is designed to provide children with opportunities to learn simple coding language while also encouraging children’s creativity and skills for problem-solving and deductive reasoning. The Ozobot device is programmed to follow black, red, blue, and green lines/paths which control the Ozobot’s movement and speed in different directions. The device has sensors that recognize color sequences (also known as “OzoCodes”) and interprets the sequences as commands for directing speed and movement.  
The campers started with an activity to observe the Ozobot’s navigation using a single black color line and then observed the Ozobot’s navigation on lines with varying color code combinations. Building from their observations, the children began to experiment with combining various color sequences to create their own OzoCodes to alter their Ozobot’s direction and speed and then created and coded their own complex paths and mazes. 

The campers also had the opportunity to explore virtual reality tools using Google Cardboard Viewers, a foldable cardboard template that when assembled allows a user to experience virtual reality on a smartphone. The campers used the viewers with the Google Cardboard iOS app  on refurbished iphones. (There is also a Cardboard Camera app for Android phones available from Google Play).  In addition to setting-up the device as a viewer, the Google Cardboard app also offers access to a set of immersive experiences to be used with a viewer through the app including Kaleidoscope, Arctic Journey, Urban Hike, Museum Exhibits and Explorer. 

The campers also worked with several creativity and design tools including Buncee EDU, Pic Collage. The Buncee EDU platform offers an interactive digital canvas with thematic background templates for creating stories, books, cartoons/comics, presentations, pamphlets, posters, etc. Children are able to customize the templates by adding animations, pictures, text, drawings, and videos. The Buncee EDU platform also offers an extensive gallery of searchable media which children can add to their projects. Children also have the option to import external media from their computers or other websites. PicCollage is a free app that can be used to create collages from digital photos. Features of the app allow children to customize their collage by adding text, backgrounds, and stickers. The children went on a campus walk to capture photos for their project. Back in the AT&T Classroom the campers enjoyed using the app’s tools to design their own unique Kent State collage.