- Title: Robotics teacher inspires students to build Lego robo-arm
- Date: 3rd October 2019
- Summary: SEONGNAM, SOUTH KOREA (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBOTICS TEACHER AT KOREA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (KIS), MICHAEL BYCRAFT, SAYING: "It's the best part of my day, like, as a teacher, I just, some teachers are good at different things. I'm really good as a cheerleader and a supporter. And I love when they make just great stuff and I'm so proud of them and they get so much feedback from it working, and what I love is the class, as a whole, is really supportive." STUDENTS WORKING MAKING ROBOT WITH LEGO BOX OF ASSORTED LEGO BYCRAFT WORKING ON ROBOT WITH STUDENT BYCRAFT TALKING TO STUDENT (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBOTICS TEACHER AT KOREA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (KIS), MICHAEL BYCRAFT, SAYING: "I chose this platform because every student understands Lego and what it is. They've been using it since they were three, it fits together the same way. This is compatible with any other kind of Lego, so it's instantly familiar to a student and it's not intimidating and it's a really diverse platform. So they can remake it and build it a hundred different ways, if they want. No two kids' design usually looks the same." BYCRAFT SPEAKING TO STUDENT 13-YEAR-OLD STUDENT FROM GERMANY, JULIA WEISS, USING LAPTOP TO CONTROL ROBOT / ROBOT MOVING ACROSS FLOOR WEISS MAKING ROBOT (SOUNDBITE) (English) 13-YEAR-OLD STUDENT FROM GERMANY, JULIA WEISS, SAYING: "Well, I have a lot-I really want robots that help people. For example, like people that can't walk. Maybe like, help, like a robot that helps them or like they have, they're sick that, then they could, robots can help them, yeah. That's like my dream robot." STUDENT TESTING OUT ROBOT / ROBOT MOVING ACROSS FLOOR AND CROSSING FINISH LINE / STUDENT PICKING UP ROBOT ROBOT WITH U.S. FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBOTICS TEACHER AT KOREA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (KIS), MICHAEL BYCRAFT, SAYING: "I also really like technology classes because they are really open-ended and they allow for failure and for iterations. I can make two hundred versions of a code that doesn't work. I'm not going to get an F in a class because my code doesn't work. I'm going to fix it, make the code again, make the code again, right? I'm going to build something again, I'm going to make it. And my robotics class is a good example of that because in the real world, failure is a part of your job and you're going to have things mess up, and technology makes a nice safe area for people to error and struggle and then fix their problems, right? In English class or math class, "Oh my gosh, I got an F on my paper" and that's terrifying. But here, it's just like "No, fix it" and I love that with kids and if we get that mindset in them at an early age, that's going to help them no matter what they do, right?" STUDENTS WATCHING ROBOT MOVE ACROSS FLOOR / ROBOT MOVING ACROSS FLOOR EXTERIOR OF KIS GATE OF SCHOOL/ SIGN READING (English): "KIS/ KOREA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL"
- Embargoed: 17th October 2019 09:55
- Keywords: school robot technology teacher LEGO makers South Korea robotics mindstorms EV3
- Location: SEONGNAM, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEONGNAM, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA005AZJKPCP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: American teacher Michael Bycraft is encouraging aspiring roboticists at a school in South Korea using LEGO's education-focused construction kits.
Bycraft was born with a birth defect afflicting his right hand, and his students were so inspired by him that they built a robotic arm from LEGO to demonstrate their engineering skills. While Bycraft said he doesn't wear a prosthetic himself, the robotic hand demonstrates how robotics can be a force for good.
"I love building and making with my hands, and I always have. It's just interesting since I don't have one," Bycraft told Reuters at Korea International School in Seongnam.
"I like that they (students) can see someone who has a disability, and a disability you think would really affect your life, still being successful in an area that is hands-on, even though you don't have a hand."
From programming code to building the structure of robots, students were tasked with working in a group and testing creative vehicles and devices, such as the robotic hand.
13-year-old student Julie Weiss told Reuters she wants to invent robots that could help people with disabilities.
"I really want robots that help people. For example, like people that can't walk...That's like my dream robot," she said.
The young engineers were using LEGO Mindstorms EV3, part of the education range that tackles subjects like engineering, coding, and physics. Kits include servo motors, various sensors and intelligent bricks that contain programming code to control robotics, according to the company.
Ahead of UNESCO World Teachers' Day on Saturday (October 5), students at the school were challenged to develop a vehicle which moves forward without wheels; part of Bycraft's mission to enforce the development of problem-solving skills and working together as a team.
"In the real world, failure is a part of your job and you're going to have things mess up, and technology makes a nice safe area for people to error and struggle and then fix their problems, right? said Bycraft, adding: "Here, it's just like "No, fix it" and I love that with kids and if we get that mindset in them at an early age, that's going to help them no matter what they do."
(Production: Daewoung Kim, Minwoo Park)
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