Bettendorf ScienceFest: Coffeechug Cafe/Robotics Room, Google Glass, Robots, Art, and STEM



Saturday morning the Robodogs as well as myself and Coach Drexler volunteered our time to the Bettendorf ScienceFest which is a community event to showcase science. You can check the images linked above, but this post is dedicated to my classroom Coffeechug Cafe.

We showed off several things related to robotics. I created and built a robot challenge thanks to the wonderful help of Dimitri from Belgium. The course was laid out with duct tape and basically two robots operated with bluetooth had to bring a block to the white triangle.

We had another station for a Spirobot(see the video below) for any kid of any age to make some artwork.

We also had a free build table to just build with regular LEGO bricks.

We had our First LEGO League board up and running to show off our robots that took 5th and 7th in the state of Iowa.

We also had our hardware out from past tournaments.

We had another robot up and running with an IR sensor and another robot powered with gears and using the NXT bricks.

Finally, as time evolved we had students building a robot to take on the incline in the middle of the room.

Needless to say we had a million things going on and it was awesome. So many kids thinking and problem solving all day long. We had a full room and lots of conversations and interest about getting involved this summer.

It really opens my eyes to the power of play, engineering, and tinkering. We need more opportunities like this in schools to challenge kids and keep excitement levels high.

Here is a video recapping images from the day and below that is the live feed from the event.

The live feed of the event in case you are interested in watching how things unfolded.


We were having issues with the Q and A with GHO so here are answers to the questions posted online. Thanks to all who viewed the event and submitted questions.

What do the students think of ‘Robot Room’? This room is my classroom and it called Coffeechug Cafe. This is where we house our two robotics teams. We actually have another room dedicated to our robotics classses that are taught during the day. This room is for me to allow collaboration with staff(I am an instructional coach), brainstorm, tinker, play, student work, and drink coffee and get away from the grind. The bigger goal is to build a makerspace soon. The kids love it and they are always in here hanging out and tinkering.

Who built the robots? The robots for FLL are built 100% by the students. The challenge course robots I built due to time constraints and not being able to stay after school with the team due to my basketball coaching duties. The other robots are mix from a lot of people. We have several other robots built by students but we kept them up as we had plenty out already.

I hope you enjoy and always welcome feedback and questions.

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