Wednesday, October 26, 2016

4th and 5th grade robotics training event info

Greetings eager robotics families!

Now that we have the 3rd grade robotics teams on their way for their fall season, we are now ready to kickoff our programming training for the incoming 4th and 5th graders.  We will be hosting Lego EV3 programming lessons starting Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30 PM in the Gallimore school gym and will proceed every Wednesday until the end of year break (minus Thanksgiving break).  Each session should last 2 hours.

Due to the number of interested students vs. available robots, I'd request that prior club members that already have programming experience not attend and leave room for those that have not already learned advanced Lego programming.  I will be providing robots, but I will need people to come with laptops that have an EV3 programming environment installed.  The software can be found here: 

If you do not have a PC, there are apps for both Android and iPads that can be used in the first few sessions, but a PC or Mac will be required for some of the programming lessons later in the year.  It is not required that ever person have a computer to participate and I think we will get a feel for hardware requirements after a few sessions, but I'd rather have too much hardware rather than not enough.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend and learn along with their children as well!

In future emails, I will share plans for forming teams for the upcoming Robofest competition this winter and will also be scheduling a kick-off meeting for that.  

If you know someone that was interested in participating in Gallimore Robotics Club and has not received this email, please encourage them to sign up at as that is what I am currently using as the list.  I will also be posting this same email to the blog and on Facebook.

As always, please contact me with any questions!  You can reach me at

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hello 3rd Grade Parents,

My name is Rachel Clawson and my daughter Kennedy is a 3rd grader at Gallimore this year. You are receiving this e-mail because your son or daughter expressed interest in participating in robotics this year.
As many of you may be aware, the lego competition that the club participated in last year is only for 4th and 5th graders. Last year the 3rd graders were still able to be a part of the club by spending time learning basic programming online, but did not have any real opportunites to work with the robots or compete. We have just learned about a competition that will allow 3rd graders to enter, but we need to act fast if we want to participate. 
The Wonder League Robotics Competition, is a free competition that runs about 2 months. Students will team up to design solutions to real-world science and technology challenges by programming and building extensions for their Dash & Dot robots. Please click on the link above for more information about the competition. My daughter has been programming with Dash and Dot all summer and they are wonderful! I think it will be a very do-able first step for the 3rd graders that will be both fun and challenging. 
The biggest issue is that registration for this competition ends Monday October 17th. That only gives us 6 days to get organized!!!
In talking with Joe Rork, the 4th/5th grade robotics lead, here is what the the 3rd grade robotics program would involve for those who choose to compete:
  • Email me, Rachel Clawson ( by this Friday the 14th if your child would like to compete. 
  • The students will meet for approx. 2 hours once a week until the December 15th deadline. At this time we plan to meet Thursday night at Gallimore from 6:30 to 8:30. I will let you know as soon as we nail this time down. (We will not meet over the Thanksgiving holiday)
  • Our first meeting would be next Thursday. (Again sorry to rush things, but we have to get started if we want to make the deadline)
  • The fee for the 3rd graders would be somewhere between $80 to $100. This would be to purchase enough robots for each team to use as well as for a team t-shirt. I don't know when this would be due, but probably soon as we would need to order the robots ASAP in order to start working with them
  • Each team would need one adult to help advise. Joe said that a few people said they would be interested coaching, but I would need to know exactly how many parents are willing to coach to ensure enough supervision. If you are unable to come Thursday nights, I think we could make other times work. The biggest thing is that you can commit 2 hrs a week for the next two months. 
If you have any other questions, please e-mail me. I am excited to be a part of Gallimore robotics this year and look forward to working with you and your children.


Rachel Clawson