Gears of Fury
Pilot Curriculum - Developed for FaceLAB Robotics
Introduction to Gears of Fury
Welcome to a new adventure! You will be learning and leading students through a ten-session curriculum called Gears of Fury. In this adventure, you’ll learn about teaching, learning, robotics, gearing and a concept called Systems Thinking. By the time you’re done, you’ll have made a robot, learned to program or code it, and you’ll use your robot to compete against another robot. Hopefully, you’ll also have fun and see how the curriculum relates to the world around us.
What Is It All About?
Gears of Fury is a curriculum created especially for FaceLab, a program by the New York City Department of Education Division of Family and Community Empowerment (FACE). Gears of Fury is designed for use in classrooms of students in 4th through 7th grade. You are going to learn to build a robot that will move and respond to light or input from a color, and how to code that robot to follow a path.
Throughout this work, you’ll learn about a concept called Systems Thinking. Systems Thinking allows us to look at activities or actions as part of a set of interdependent events, or actions. Understanding Systems Thinking makes us better at making decisions and better at identifying challenges and solving them. Systems Thinking will help students beyond robotics and math; it will help them become better at gauging situations, predicting outcomes, and in general engaging more proactively in the world around them.
Why Robotics? What Can Robotics Do to Add to Our World?
Many people are worried that robots will take the jobs of humans. In some cases this may be true, but in many cases robots can do things to supplement and support us. Robots can perform dangerous tasks and go places that human beings are not able to go. Robotics offers new jobs as well. Robots can perform nuclear disaster clean up, can detonate a bomb or walk in a dangerous minefield. In order for any of these tasks to be done, a robot needs to be designed and to be programmed. Our goal with this curriculum is that we’re providing the building blocks so that our students can become curious and excited about robotics. Armed with experience and excitement they may become our next generation of computer scientists and engineers.
Get Ready to Dive In!
As you get ready to dive into this curriculum, have fun with it! It might take two or three cycles of learning, playing, and repeating to really get the hang of it. Everyone moves at their own pace. You may also move easily through it. You may develop ideas of your own for how to modify and play the game. Please share these ideas with us! You and your students will learn a lot through struggle and through successes. Your time and efforts supporting your students will make their learning deeper and more meaningful.