Enhanced Robotics

Learning to fly in elementary school and junior high

Launch your daughter or son into a stratosphere of higher learning designed just for them. Watch as they dive into a world of mechanical engineering and object-oriented programming populated by the coolest toys imaginable. Enroll them in our Enhanced Robotics course today. We've shaped it to meld perfectly with the minds of children in grades three through eight.

This is the class where your child starts to understand the connection between the designing, building, and programming of LEGO® robots and the designing and writing of real-world object-oriented programs. The concepts we introduce are enhanced versions of what is taught to younger children in our Robotics classes. But it doesn't end there. Your daughter or son will learn about accelerometers, bluetooth, sequence beams, variables, data logging, NXT-G, labview, RobotC and more.

Don't worry, we're still secretly using a precisely structured curriculum to maintain an experience that's balanced with challenge and enjoyment. Don't try to tell your children that we're preparing them for a career - they'll never believe it... "No way, mom! This is too fun!"

We've taken complex ideas and made them easy to digest. Everything is served in bite-size (or is that byte-sized?) pieces appropriate to your child's appetite. Click through the Curriculum Levels below to learn about what goes into each portion we serve.

Enhanced Robotics Lab:
Build the robots and robotic systems you see (or don't see) in everyday life.

Here's a chance for your child to apply the concepts they learn in their robotics classes to real life projects. All Enhanced Robotics Labs cover the use of mechanical engineering and the concepts of object-oriented programming in every day situations. Here are examples...

Students will learn how to build and program a bluetooth remote control that's used by one robot to control another. They'll discover the hidden technology found in advanced structures like automated car parking garages. Your child can construct a robotic butler that will deliver a perfectly heated cup of coffee without spilling a drop. They will build and program advanced robots, such as the awesome JohnNXT from this great book by Daniele Benedettelli.

Understand that the common thread of all Enhanced Robotics Labs is problem-solving. Each problem requires two disciplines to come up with solutions: mechanical engineering and object-oriented programming. Because of this, our labs are split into two six-week sessions.

The first session always covers project overview and engineering. Instructors and students work together to examine how to approach a problem. The students are tasked with finding the solutions through discussion and construction. This is key to developing critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills. Your daughter and son will nurture the ability to discuss projects and ideas together. They will learn to review pros and cons of suggestions while exhibiting gracious professionalism. There will be no, or very little, programming for the first six weeks. Students learn to engineer projects while keeping programming in mind. If they forget to do this, they may end up with an unworkable solution. Students who are primarily interested in mechanical engineering can stop at the end of session one. Students that want a complete experience will continue on to session two: the programming portion of the Enhanced Robotics Lab.

The second session always covers re-cap and programming. Re-cap benefits both the students continuing from the engineering session, and new students that only wish to program. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork are again required as they play great roles in object-oriented programming. This session requires no, or very little, mechanical engineering. Your children receive fully built projects from the first six-week session. Students primarily interested in programming can join only the second session of every Enhanced Robotics Lab. It's a better value (both educationally and financially) to complete both sessions.

As your children attend Enhannced Robotics and graduate to higher levels, their lab opportunities expand. They will be exposed to programming languages for web and mobile apps. You'll probably hear them talking about HTML/CSS/JavaScript, C# and Microsoft .NET platform. Students will learn to log and analyze data gathered by sensors. They will put that data to use in SQL Server data storage and database-driven applications and learn to perform calculations to solve complex problems. We also cover renewable energy in our lesson plans. Your daughter and son will experiment with it to discover how to generate, store, and use the power of solar, wind, and water.

Remember that our instruction is age-appropriate. We make sure that if your daughter is ten, she won't be receiving lessons designed for high-school age children (unless her understanding indicates that she should). Our specialty is making even the most complex-sounding classes and labs engaging and accessible. We really do instruct with a combination of technology, equipment, and course material that is not available anywhere else.

Great Minds Robotics is continually looking at the ways that robots are used to improve our lives. We turn those observations into fun and educational labs for the students enrolled at our learning center. All students who wish to participate in Enhanced Robotics Labs must already be taking Enhanced Robotics classes.

Competitions that challenge the brain

Students compete against others in their class, other classes, and in much bigger competitions such as First LEGO® League. Give your child the gift of joy and satisfaction that comes from winning based on maximum effort and unparalleled integrity. Kids learn to work together in a way that mirrors the team-based programming assignments of the real world. Don't try to sell them on this one either (they'll be having too much fun to believe you).

Level 1 Curriculum

  • Introduction to Robotics

    • Building using LEGO NXT and Technic elements
    • Programming using NXT-G system
    • Use of servo motors
    • Use of Touch, Sound, Light, and Ultrasonic sensors

Learning Objectives

Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology we teach, such as input/output systems, and interrelation of hardware and software. Students will learn the basics of engineering design as it applies to the LEGO Mindstorms NXT system. Students will develop teamwork skills through group activities and mini-contests. Students will learn to build simple programs using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G software and interactive SMART Board.

Number of sessions: 16