In Murmansk children create robots and learn to use 3D printer
Is there any child that does not like LEGO? A lot of children in our country and around the world have grown playing colorful construction kits. Who would have thought that assembling details can develop from usual entertainment to creation of serious mechanisms? As it turns out, it is possible! And as of today "Technopark" has been working at the premises of Murmansk Polytechnic Lyceum for more than four years.
From gear-wheel to mechanism
"Technopark" consists of Robotics Center and several research laboratories. There is "LEGO-park" for younger children (third grade and older). For high school students there is Robotics Center. Children make their own models and design, code them. According to Konstantin Egorov, head of the center, the hardest part is to keep children off the idea to create a robotic toy. After all, every child, and even more boy, wants to create a reduced copy of terminator or transformer.
- It all starts with interest. And, of course, there is nothing we could do without game, - Konstantin says. - Let the children create what they like. The main thing is that the machine, which will be constructed, shall work as envisioned by the child. Of course, there are certain shortages - together we can fix them.
In fifth grade young inventors are getting to know some concepts that their peers will see only in high school textbooks. And all this is because children create serious mechanisms, and they need this knowledge right now.
- What children do is the mix of physics, technology, engineering, computer science and programming. Previously, we could only study the motion, or only code – everything separately. Now we have an opportunity to combine it all, - the teacher says.
In the world of three-dimensional technology
Groups in "Technopark" are rather diverse: not only students of lyceum, but also students of various city schools and gymnasiums study here.
- My mother told me that there is "LEGO-Park" at the premises of lyceum - Anton Tustanovskiy, fifth grade student, says. - I began attending it even before entering the Lyceum. I loved it. And now, being lyceum student, I often come here after school to study.
Robotics Base in Murmansk Polytechnic Lyceum is very large: the cost of materials purchased is three million RUB! But Lyceum executives are not going to stop. Just recently they have purchased another gimmick - 3D printer.
- Using it, we will print parts for robots - Konstantin shows small device in bright yellow case. – There is plastic inside the machine, it is wounded onto a large spool. Printer softens the plastic, melts it and makes necessary detail layer after layer.
But before the miracle machine will produce the desired detail, one should draw it using special interface. In Robotics Center children also study to do it. By the way, it takes much time to create a masterpiece out of plastic: it takes about 40 minutes to make easy detail, and in case there are complicated parts it might take several hours.
Besides "Technopark" there is also is Center for Gifted Children "Discovery" working at the premises of Lyceum.