Robotics WebQuest [Mechanical engineering]

Robotics WebQuest

Center for Educational Technologies

Dr. Meri Cummings, lab manager and science resource teacher at the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University, received the Outstanding Commitment Award at the 2012 West Virginia FIRST LEGO League state robotics tournament held Dec. 8 in Fairmont.

The award was signed by inventor Dean Kamen, who founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. More than 48, 000 children participate in FIRST LEGO League, a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company.

Cummings served as West Virginia tournament director for seven years before finally stepping aside in 2012 to emcee the tournament. Under her leadership the tournament grew incredibly as she spreads the word on LEGO robotics through her work at the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future program. Cummings writes a blog and manages four collaboratives on robotics on the NASATalk website operated by the Classroom of the Future.

The 2012 tournament saw 54 teams participate, the most ever.

Judge Meri

Dr. Meri Cummings, director of the annual West Virginia FIRST LEGO League tournaments served as a judge at the 2012 FLL World Festival. Meri shares some pictures and her experiences at this huge event that brought competitors from more than 45 countries.

Curious About Curiosity?

Curiosity, NASA's newest, biggest, most instrument-loaded rover, is exploring Mars. Visit the Mars Curiosity Rover collaborative on NASATalk to link to videos, images, and NASA mission pages. There are excellent descriptions of the instruments and some NXT and WebQuest badge-earning challenges. You can even receive tweets from Curiosity.

Tweetup Highlights Robotics Week

The NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future turned to social media to involve people in National Robotics Week April 9-13, 2012. Dr. Meri Cummings, science resource teacher at the Center for Educational Technologies, coordinated a Tweetup via Twitter in which participants were guided to robotics activities each day. Cummings also moderated discussions and activities via the NASA website. For the week the Tweetup resulted in 62 followers from around the world.

Tinkering Supplies Robotics Shield Kit w/ Arduino
Toy (Tinkering Supplies)
  • Complete kit of robot parts - just add batteries!
  • Beginner-friendly - No programming experience needed
  • Solder-free - Experiment with custom circuits on the breadboard (no special-brand connectors)
  • Understandable - Free, easy-to-follow web tutorials and example code downloads
  • DIY touch, light, and infrared sensor components are included in the kit to support autonomous navigation
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