When we heard that Scienceworks' newest offerings STEM Sundays were all about robotics and coding, we had to check it out.
STEM Sundays are organised workshops for primary aged children (although there is one class for adults too) covering such topics as coding using Scratch and LEGO robotics.
Workshops are held in private room on the ground floor of Scienceworks near the permanent exhibit Ground Up.
Classes are held on various Sunday afternoons at 1pm and last 90 minutes. The age recommendations are dependent on the topic:
LEGO Robotics & Coding. Ages 8-12
Storytelling With ScratchJr. Ages 5–7
Makey Makey. Ages 6-10
Beginners Robotics for Adults. 18yrs plus.
There is no cost for accompanying adults who must stay with participating kids. More Here.
We booked our 10yo onto the LEGO Robotics & Coding class. Our guide for the day, Douglas, was incredibly engaging with the group. He started the session with a YouTube video and PowerPoint presentation covering the topic of robotics, asking the group what they thought the term "robot" might mean.
Intro into robotics
Following that, all participating children were given an iPad and LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot. Douglas and two other Scienceworks' assistants helped the kids (and accompanying adults) code the 'bots to move around using specific commands. Things got a little more technical as the session progressed and the children tried different techniques to test the robots' sensors.
1.5hrs flew by. We reached the end of the session in what seemed like no time at all. Did the kids love it? They sure did. Our 10yo would be very happy to have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot to code at home but at $400 a pop, we won't be buying one any time soon.
That said, he would be over the moon to know he could once again code a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 at another Scienceworks' STEM Sunday session in the near future.
Be advised that if you do want to participate in a STEM Sundays session, book in advance. Our class had completely booked out and couldn't take any last minute participants on the day.
This particular session costs $35 for a member child or $40 non-member. The other classes are slightly less.
Get your code on with STEM Sundays at Scienceworks