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4-H LEGO Robotics: Learning to love science and technology


Woodburn students can start learning science through robotics at an early age

Lincoln Elementary School students are applying math and science concepts as they build a robot and make it work.by: MARY STEWART - (From left) Daniel Velazquez, Juan de Jesus, Andrew Nava and Alfredo Alonso, members of the 4-H LEGO Robotics club at Lincoln Elementary,  learn about science, technology, engineering and math by building and running missions with LEGO robots.

According to Cristian Curiel, the Oregon State University Extension faculty who teaches the after-school sessions, students practice what they learn in the classroom through hands-on activities in the 4-H robotic club.

“They learn how to solve problems in a fun, positive and low pressure environment,” he said.

“It makes me want to do more science,” said Gerald Plascencia, a fifth-grader from Woodburn.

“I have learned how to read and follow instructions. I have also learned that it is important not to mix two or more kits to build robots,” he added with a twinkle in his eyes.by: MARY STEWART - (From left) Alfredo Alonso, Michael Mendoza and Andrew Nava enjoy practicing the lessons learned in the classroom in the fun and low pressure afterschool 4-H Club setting.

Lincoln Elementary students who participate in the after school club build a small robot out of LEGO Mindstorm NXT kits and program the robot to carry out as many missions as possible on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field.

The team has the opportunity to compete in one or more robotics tournaments around Oregon and Washington.

The youth development program of the OSU Extension Service is 4-H. Youth in grades four through 12 may belong to various 4-H clubs centered on areas of interest that include not just robotics but also photography, camping, livestock, foods and 100 other project areas.

For more information about 4-H, contact the Marion County office of Oregon State University Extension in Salem at 503-588-5301.