Da Vinci Robotics Progress

Date:  Feb 12, 2018

Da Vinci Innovation Labs is like a second home to my two sons.

When I wake up in the morning on Monday, Jay will request, “Can I go to Da Vinci tomorrow since there is no CCA.”  They will go to Da Vinci 7 days during holidays, and at least Saturday and Sunday 2 days for the rest of the time.

Da Vinci offers students to learn how to program a robot, i.e. Lego Mindstorms EV3, using their proprietary interface and the computer language called Python.  But because these students mostly are still very young, they introduced the Blocky interface for them to learn, at the same time, they get to see the actual Python codes side by side.  So, through out the time, they slowly learned how to read the code.  Is much faster I guess reading the code then, looking at the programming blocs.

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The blocky codes is those colourful blocks on the left.  And the Python Codes are on the right.  So, the more you read the Python codes, the more you understand and you automatically learned how to code using “text codes” instead of block codes.

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I have been sending both of them to Wonder Works since P1.  They already very used to the Mindstorms Block interface programming.  But they cannot forever live in a Lego world.  At some point, they will need to grow up, and face the world, program in a real programming language.

Once you learned how to program in one language, you should be able to learn how to program in others.  It is just a language.

Even as young as Kay, 9 years old (P3).  He can slowly learned all these concept.

By the time they finished the entire lesson, it is equivalent as they have completed a university first year course in basic programming.

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Not only you need to learn how to build the robots, you need to be the coder.  As well as to be the presenter.  So, they will learn all these from Da Vinci.

How to make the robot perform a certain task.  How to troubleshoot it when it is not working.  How to explain to people what does it do?  All these are part and puzzle of growing up.

They also have monthly competitions for the kids to enjoy and learn to compete in building the best robots to complete the task.

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Thru a well structured learning curriculum, and a fun monthly competition, you can gain huge interest in the kids learning of computer programming.

Also, the way how Da Vinci offer the course, is unique.  It is like going to Gym.  They limit 2.5 hours per day, and you can go there 360 days if you want.  So, you decide how long you want to stay in the lab, and you pace your own learning schedule.

That is what I love about this Da Vinci Innovation Lab.  You can go any time, and multiple times a week.  As and when the kids are free.  Of course, it is more benefited to me because I work in Suntec and Da Vinci is in Suntec.  It’s easier for me to sent the kids home.

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Every three months, they will give an assessment report.  This is the first report I got from them for both Jay and Kay.

The assessment report will give a brief overview of how the kids doing.

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Let’s go thru Jay’s assessment report.

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It will talk about the learning summary, the performance, and his learning behaviours as well as the computational thinking skills.  Then, it gave a summary of the course they have taken.

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Jay has went to the class for 49 times.  That’s 49x 2.5 hours spent.  Almost 110 hours.

The beginning lessons are quite simple, so you can see how he breeze thru it.  He spent about 8 classes to complete the Basic I.  And then, he spent 27 classes to complete his Basic II.  As you can see, he started to struggle at some of the unit challenges, i.e. unit 26, unit 27, as well as unit 30.  The last unit 30 takes about 12 days to complete.  Now, he is on the way to get his Intermediate I certificate.

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His performance, the blue line if it is below the red line, that means less time were spent.  So, it is good.  Some chapter he spent a bit more time.

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Wow… still got lots of rooms to improve in learning behaviours.

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This is good.  Also got rooms to improve too.

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The rest are the info of the lessons.  What they are learning.

Basic I.

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The Basic II.  No wonder he got stuck on unit 26 and 27.  Sorting concept, and traffic light controller.

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Here is what he is doing now.  Intermediate I class.

The concept is getting more like a real programming course.

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They also learn the Python’s basic functions.

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Let’s look at Mr. Kay.

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Went thru 46 class too.  And yes, he also got stuck at unit 26 and 27.  Spent a long time completing those.  Of course, he is 3 years younger too.

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May be because most of the students are P4-P5-P6-Sec1, etc..  His blue line is on top of red line.  Or he really always need help from the teacher.  I think he is still young.  Let him learn slowly.

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That’s him.  hahahaha

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He still got a long way to learn.

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So, let’s wait until the next report then see how is their progress.

They also brief me about the WRO (World Robot Olympiad) and ask me if Jay would be interested in joining.  But the competition is around beginning of September.  And it is the PSLE timing.  So, I think I need to give it some thoughts in order to make any decision on this.  Take it slow first.

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As a father, I must say, well done kids!

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