WARSAW — Parents of Washington STEM Academy first-graders converged on the elementary school on Wednesday, March 20, to see the latest project created by students of the school — this time the lesson seemed to meld robotics with nature.
“This is our TCU (Teacher’s Credit Union) night where we have all of our first-grade students who are showcasing their penguin projects,” said David Burden, STEM instructional coach at the school. “They’ve been studying all about penguins. They researched and learned from text about penguins — what they do, where they live, what they eat.”
Burden said that in addition to creating robot penguins with LEGOs, the students programmed the plastic animals with motion detectors and prerecorded messages to give a lesson on the lifestyle and habits of the animal’s real-life namesake.
“And they had also created igloos just to show the natives that would live in the areas where we would find penguins,” said Burden. “What we also have is the penguin project where they programmed the penguin to tell a fact about itself. They actually have a program where the penguins have a motion sensor that when you wave it and it tells you about itself.”
The igloos were constructed using such normal materials as marshmallows and glue.