COPPERAS COVE — "The Jetsons" cartoon that once seemed so far-fetched is a reality. With robotic vacuums, drones and even cars that can drive themselves, robotics are no longer the wave of the future but are part of everyday living.

Third-grade students at Williams/Ledger Elementary School were immersed in the world of robotics and were able to construct their own scribble e-bots — self-propelled robots that make scribble art. The project served as an engaging opportunity for the students to showcase what they learned about reading and following procedural texts.

The students worked in teams to read and follow a set of written multistep directions. They were tasked with connecting a working motor and propeller to a base that they self-selected from a variety of recycled materials.

The students then attached markers to the bottom of their bases.

When they were finished, each team’s robot wiggled across the paper-covered table and created a unique piece of art that the students were able to take home with them.

“It was cool working with electronics, and building the scribble e-bots helped me to understand written directions,” student Joey Moore said.

Teacher Angela Sharp said it was easy to see the students were working hard and having fun. But, there were also several important educational and social aspects to the project.

“The primary purpose of the project was to provide an engaging, hands-on opportunity for students to practice important reading skills. In the process though, the students also engaged in cross-curricular science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics skills,” Sharp said. “They also worked on important problem-solving and social skills, such as cooperation, effective communication, turn-taking, sharing, encouraging others, and celebrating success.”

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