Hands-On Learning; Engineering Your WorldEngineering And Robotics Learned Young (EARLY)is a program that exposes students to engineering.Developed in cooperation with NASA, EARLY robotics is a thrilling introduction to creative thought and practical application through a medium that every child understands, LEGOS. LEGO® Education provides complete learning solutions which cover important curriculum areas while stimulating creativity, problem-solving and team-working skills. Each year NASA Roboticist Lucien Junkin introduces a thematic mission where students are challenged to move objects, such as wooden dowels, into scoring areas with a robot contructed from three LEGO® Simple & Motorized Mechanisms Kits. Each kit contains a motor along with a battery powered remote allowing robots to have three motors. These robots are controlled with manual controls and no direct coding is involved. The EARLY playing field is constructed from plywood, 2x4s, some paint, and a little bit of sweat. The mission models which serve as carriers for objects are built from one LEGO® Simple & Motorized Mechanisms Kit. The students have two minutes to score as many points as possible. The best way to envision what is involved is to view a past competition by clicking on this link.We currently offer two types of robotics experiences for third, fourth and fifth graders at Harvard: the fall Harvard Early Experience and the EARLY Competition Team. The fall Harvard EARLY Experience involves a camp where students can learn about the mission for the year and employ engineering and creative thinking to practice strategies to score the most points. The experience culminates in a friendly competition on campus. This process allows students to experience the challenge of the mission and decide if they would like to try out for the EARLY Compeition Team which competes in two tournaments in February and May.
Mr. Schaff, our technology specialist and Robotics Coach, continues to introduce young Harvard engineers to the hands-on challenge of robotics.Harvard EARLY Robotics Competition Team
The Harvard Early Robotics Competition team participates in two EARLY competitions: one typically held the fourth Saturday of January and the other held the second Saturday of May. The tournaments begin with seeding rounds at 9 in the morning and the elimination rounds are held in the afternoon. The competition typically ends at around 3:30 with an awards ceremony. Our teams consist of two students, and we typically enter five teams. Sometimes we are limited to entering just two teams in the competition. Accordingly , we can only accommodate up to around twelve children on our competition team, and given the amounts of students interested in being a part of the team, the competition is fierce. Mr. Schaff has found that the best competitors are the students who embody the IB Attitudes, so he selects students who willingly work with others and are committed to practicing. Participation in robotics camps here at Harvard is a necessary prerequisite for being considered for membership on the team. Once selected for the team, continued membership is based upon continued interest and active participation. Membership is a privilege in such a highly competitive program.