Robotics Center Presents to Legoland
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Chester electronics and software engineer Monali Verma took her Robotics4U center to the next level on June 29 when she and her students, all from the Washingtonville, Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, and Warwick areas, held an open house at her teaching space at Orange County Sports Club in Florida. While prospective parents and area educators got to see what Verma’s center is all about, students specifically got the chance to present their robots and the coding they did to make them operate to Phil Royle, director of operations for Legoland Goshen.
Royle toured tables where junior-level students’ Dash and Dot Robots from Wonder Workshop and apprentice- and senior-level students’ Lego EV3 Mindstorms Robotic Kit creations performed tasks based on what the children, ranging in age from 5 to 15, programmed them to do. Some of these included Spirograph, Musical Sequencer, Toddle Bot, Security Alarm System, Launcher, Basketball Bot, Mars Rover, Xylophone Player, and Special Delivery Bot, among others, and students used concepts like loops, debugging, functions, algorithms, sequence, and events to make them perform various actions. Students demonstrated the functionality and programming of large and medium motors, and ultrasonic, infrared, and touch sensors, all tools of the trade in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Verma, whom parents said is an engaging and elegant teacher, greeted Royle and other Legoland representatives warmly and enjoyed watching her students explain what they accomplished with their robotic tools and how they accomplished it. She includes certified teachers as assistants in her classes, which run in six-week sessions as students move up in complexity of programming. “We move from one session into the next,” she said, “building directly on what they have learned.” Her CyberStormers team received the highest point award in the recent NY State Fair Robotics Competition, and other of her teams have won other awards. Verma said it was a pleasure to present the children’s work to Royle, and that she looks forward to more meetings with him in the future as Legoland takes shape.
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CAPTION 1: Robotics4U director Monali Verma (at right) with some of her students from Washingtonville, Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, and Warwick after they presented their robotics creations to Phil Royle of Legoland Goshen on June 29. (Photo by Eugenia Moskowitz)
CAPTION 2: Phil Royle (center) of Legoland Goshen gets a programming lesson and demonstration from some of Monali Verma’s robotics students.