Robotics course taps ‘Star Wars’


Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Some local students will be able to combine the thrill of “Star Wars” and the fun of LEGO brick play as Brick Scholars offers “Space Adventures,” a STEAM enrichment class for students in grades 3-6 beginning this weekend.

Megan Oteri, the founder and CEO of Brick Scholars, a mobile STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) lab that provides programs to schools, will offer the classes at The Collaborative, located in the Gateway Technology Center on the N.C. Wesleyan College campus. Three classes will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 3, 10 and 17. The cost of the classes is $60 for all three classes.

Oterl describes the classes as a “unique enrichment program in a galaxy not so far away that takes Brick Scholars into outer space.” During the classes, students will construct and then program futuristic robotic models using LEGO Education WeDo 2.0. They will also write an epic story of their journey into space. As part of the class, students will build a robotic X-Wing, a Ti-Fighter/ X-Wing battle ship and an AT-ST walker.

Oteri said she feels the “Star Wars” theme will be one that will appeal to many students.

“‘Star Wars’ encompasses a powerful, epic story that kids can relate to,” Oteri said. “It contains a quest for knowledge and an epic battle of good versus evil.”

After the classes, students will bring home a digital storybook of their adventures that showcases their robotic builds, storyscapes and adventures.

Oteri said the program aids learning by utilizing constructionism pedagogy.

“This means that when you build with your hands, you build the mind,” Oteri said. “Students use more areas of their brains when they conceptualize an idea and then see that idea come to life.”

Class sizes are limited, so parents are urged to apply on behalf of students early. Parents can register online at https://www.brickscholars.com/event/space-adventures-robotics-and-coding/

A free Brick Scholar’s workshop also will be offered Nov. 4 to 5 for children at the North Carolina Whirligig Festival in Inspiration Station, an area on Douglas Street in Wilson. Tens of thousands of LEGOs will be on hand to inspire students to create some whirligig fun. For more information about specific times and locations of this event, go to https://www.brickscholars.com/event/whirligig-festival-inspiration-station/