Christmas is just around the corner and we’re pretty sure the schools have already started to dedicate special classes for preparing Christmas activities. Let’s skip the dull Christmas workshops this year and instead let’s involve Fable and reshape the way we think about creativity and learning!

You’re still not sure why you should start working with robots in education?

Take a look at these 5 reasons for which you should start teaching robotics in school:

 

  • Creative thinking

Studies have shown that robotics is one of the fields of knowledge that incorporate creativity and fun simultaneously. Students love to partake in activities in which they have full control and immediate feedback, something that is possible with robotics. 

  • Engagement

Hands-on learning activities enhance concentration and attention levels, because students are involved in these activities directly and they learn physical skills that also increase their motivation and interest in a certain topic.

  • Preparedness

With advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, driverless cars, and IoT technologies taking shape more vividly every day, the present generation of students needs better tech skills than before.

  • Perseverance

Building and programming robots is challenging. However, working with them helps students develop a never-give-up attitude. It helps improve determination, which is crucial for any technological or scientific undertaking.

  • Teamwork

Robotics help increase a range of skills, and thus promote a learning environment for people with different approaches. If properly harnessed, it also promotes a culture of teamwork. It can even be used to help students who might struggle to learn in traditional classroom environments. 

If you’re eager to start with robotics now, we have some Christmas robots ready to serve as an inspiration for your classroom. After checking these out, sky’s the limit for what students and teachers can achieve while working with robotics.

Christmas robots inspired by Shape Robotics’ team

  • Storytelling Fable 

Build a humanoid Fable and program it to tell one of your favorite Christmas stories. 

Download the Storytelling Fable pack that includes images you need to place in “My Fable Pictures” folder and .fab code you can load as an example! 

  • Santa Fable

Build a humanoid Fable, get creative with its Christmas costume and press play after uploading this .fab file with our example! You can program it to welcome students and teachers, do a little Christmas dance while playing different songs or just driving around and greeting everyone! 

  • Rudolf Fable

Telling the story of Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer in an updated version, or maybe just any other Christmas tale. Check out how you can use all the benefits of coding into one funny activity!

How about one last challenge for the final example of a Christmas Fable? 

  • Pick a Candy Fable

Build a tiny box made out of paper, secure it with tape on top of the castor wheel and program Fable to go around the classroom and offer candies to the students.

Keep in mind that if you want to place the plow in front of Fable, you’ll have to think about controlling the Spin Module backwards. 

Take a look at our .fab code for inspiration and build your own Christmas Fable!

Merry Christmas everyone and don’t forget to share with us your Christmas robots!

How can teachers get students’ attention and motivation easily?

Learning processes in school might seem old and boring, both for teachers and students. In a world where keywords such as innovation and STEAM skills are everywhere, the challenge arises: How can we stay up to date with the latest knowledge gaps for the younger generations? How can we prepare the kids for an employment market where the requirements are constantly adapting to the newest tech releases?

We don’t yet have a solution to fit all the educational institutions’ pain points, but we do have several action plans that will reshape the way teaching STEM skills is approached.

Let’s start with competitions!

Research shows that competitions encourages students to work harder, study further and in the process – boost their confidence. When competitions are being organised in the classroom, the students are far more focused on outperforming their rivals, but most important: they start with outperforming themselves! Group competitions encourage teamwork while individual competitions nurture soft skills.

And it’s not always about winning, competitions are mostly about the energy & spirit that enhance its benefits. While winning gives the adrenaline, happiness and motivation, losing is the best teacher – it allows students to further develop and research intro way of getting better and wiser – therefore, winning next time! Moreover, that’s when the teacher plays an incredible role – the one of a mentor, whose presence will guide and encourage students to look further into the issue and don’t give up!

Competitions, if managed correctly, have an amazing outcome for both teachers and students and are also a great way to switch the boring curriculum lessons to engaging activities that develop more than hard skills!

Fable Spin Football Tournament

With all these reasons in mind, we put together an activity sheet specially designed to challenge your students’ coding skills, creativity and innovation.

First, start off with dividing the students into an equal number of teams taking into consideration the number of Spin Modules the class owns.

Our recommendation would be to have groups of 2-5 students for each team.

After setting up the teams, you need to decide which coding option comes first. Our advice is to organise three different phases, one for each coding option provided. Therefore, each team gets the chance to code Fable Spin using three different programming options. 

IDEA! Top 2 teams are challenged to play one final round of Spin Football and to control Spin using another coding option. No clue what to use? How about Follow the Leader? How about trying to code Spin in Python directly? If you’re running Fable Blockly on a PC/ Mac you can easily switch to the Python Editor by pressing the last icon from the menu bar.

What do you need to set the Tournament in motion?

  • One Fable Spin module for each team competing in the Tournament
  • One Smartphone holder for each Fable Spin
  • One Smartphone with Fable Face App installed and running
  • One Fable Hub for each Fable Spin module
  • One castor wheel and one plow per module to assure the stability of Fable Spin

Optional: 

  • A Construction Bundle for each Fable Spin Module to build your own Fable Spin Robot
  • Creativity BOOST – Get two empty cardboard boxes and build your own Football Goals – no rules implied! 

Do you want to discover the instructions, coding options and tournament rules? Download the activity sheet here! 

Don’t forget to share with us on Social Media videos & images from your Tournament using #FableSpinFootballTournament

In October, our Fable team had the opportunity to organise a workshop at ReDi School in Berlin. ReDI School offers education to break down barriers and connect the leaders of tomorrow. They use technology to connect human potential with employment opportunities with dignity and humility. ReDI is a non-profit social enterprise who values reliability, usefulness, care and playfulness.

They are doing a great job in inclusion, educating and sharpening the 21st century skills of the children involved, reshaping the way they are used to being taught STEM skills – just like Fable does!

Our amazing International Partner Channel Manager – Shân Mari Linnet Nissen is sharing her experience of teaching coding with Fable to a passionate group of students aged 7 to 14 years old. The digital leaders of tomorrow worked in groups exploring playful activities and challenges while also building humanoid robots.

Collaboration, Innovation and Coding 

The students’ age differences made them work with peers and also develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Within the teams that were created, the students explored different roles such as: product owner, developer, creative thinker, and so on. 

Students had to complete two different tasks that challenged their creativity as well as their problem solving skills while also combining lesson based themes like Newton’s laws. Our approach was based on a cross-cultural experience that combines coding and aspects of various subjects.

The first challenge was based on working with the Fable Joint module. Using the throwing arm, the teams of students had to throw as many balls in the net as possible. 

The learning goal: working together as a team on coding the correct angle of the throwing arm based on Newton’s laws and experiencing the debugging process based on trial and error.

The second challenge was created around the Fable Spin module. Using Fable Spin, the students had to collect as many toy parts into a given field as possible while also competing against other groups.

The learning goal was focused on developing teamwork skills, communication skills for discussing the strategy and coding the best solution for winning the challenge. Moreover, the mission also followed a debugging process based on developing trial and error problem solving skills.

Moreover, both challenges followed the red thread of offering students the opportunity to take ownership of their learning.

By being part of these educational workshops, our main goal is to facilitate children the skills they need to own in order to become part of the future workforce. Only by developing STEM skills starting with early ages we can help secure a brighter future for the children of today.

The whole experience felt like a lesson for both parties involved.”

After the challenges were over, Shân and the students explored different solutions for today’s professional challenges that Fable can solve. The students came up with lots of great ideas that emphasised how the world can be changed with the necessary knowledge and a good heart.

“Working with kids never ceases to amaze me! Even if some of the students don’t have the same advantages as lots of other kids around them, they were incredibly smart and empathetic, generating more and more ideas about how Fable can solve everyday’s problems in people’s jobs. We talked about different labour groups and which chores these people would find difficult or time consuming. Together we continued to explore how we could use Fable to solve these problems. One child said that a hotel receptionist might be lonely, so we should create a robot friend to spend time with. A young girl told me she would love to make a robot that was able to paint and help caretakers so they don’t have to bend down that much and get tired easily. It’s amazing how much we as adults can also learn from kids’ ideas and concerns. The whole experience felt like a lesson for both parties involved.”  Shân Mari Linnet Nissen – International Partner Channel Manager 

Lots of problems of today’s world can be solved by technology and these amazing kids are part of the future – they need to have access to coding and tech resources, to develop problem solving skills, creative thinking and teamwork in order to grow into adults concerned about improving the world around them! 

We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of these educational workshops while also following our main goal – to facilitate children the skills they need to own in order to become part of the future workforce. Only by developing STEM skills starting with early ages we can help secure a brighter future for the children of today.