App of the Week – Robots

Robots from IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers

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  • Free
  • Version 1.6
  • 521 MB (big)
  • Grades 6-12

Robots is available for download on iPads from the App Store.  Beware of the large app size.  That being said, it would be a worthwhile download for all grades – not just the grade 6-12 range that is associated with the app.

Robots contains specs and video or moving photos of 150 robots from 16 different countries.  Students have input through the ratings system, up to five stars, questions like would you want to have this robot, and an appearance rating based on relative creepiness.

Robot “News” requires an internet connection but updates recent inventions and developments in technology that are important to robotics.

“Play” is not very exciting.  It mostly pits robot against robot and students pick the one they think would win.

“Learn” begins with what a robot is, and documents various pivotal inventions that contributed to the development of modern day robots.  There is also a Timeline and a Glossary of Robotics.

This app would be great to have on ipads that students use to learn but also for them to browse for information.  It would appeal to those with robot knowledge but even to those without much robot knowledge.

Robots has a very attractive topic but does it justice with the information contained within the app.

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University of Calgary STEM Community

I recently joined about fifty other interested people at the second meeting of the STEM Community formed within the University of Calgary.  The name implies two foundation ideas that infuse these educators’ thinking.  The interest in STEM comes from the need to educate a Canadian workforce to meet the jobs that are emerging in industry.  We need to educate university students today to meet the employer needs of tomorrow but also to educate our educators to prepare students as young as 5 to participate in a world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  The second word, “community,” is no less important.  As we introduced ourselves, it became obvious that our varied backgrounds made us a motley crew of specialties and interests.  This community, however, is united in its interest in making our programs and, therefore, our students, stand-outs among the larger university community.  The notion is new and exciting:  to come together and create something innovative and engaging to those generating new STEM possibilities and those experiencing the teaching outcomes of this unique group.  Keep your eye out for related STEM information, apps, websites and ways to integrate STEM teaching in your practice.