Learning about bats with the help of robots
Publication date: September 7, 2023
What could be the connection between bats and ozobots, two seemingly distinct entities that exemplify the complexity and diversity of the world we live in? Find out below.
Bats are fascinating mammals that play a vital role in our ecosystems. For example, these animals contribute to insect population control and plant pollination. Unfortunately, numerous myths and prejudices about bats have led to a significant decline in their populations in many regions of the world.
An ozobot, on the other hand, is a small programmable robot is a small programmable robot that can be used in primary and middle school classes to teach basic concepts in programming and robotics. It can be programmed to follow predefined paths and perform specific actions based on the code it receives. The ozobot is equipped with optical sensors that allow it to detect the lines and colors on which it is placed. In schools, ozobots can be used to develop skills such as logical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.
These aspects and many others were presented during the “Bat Caravan” workshops for free, generously, patiently, and dedicatedly organized by former CodeWeek ambassador, Ana Stamatescu, with the support of The Centre for Bat Research and Conservation (CBRC) NGO, at Sf. Dumitru Primary School in Craiova, over the course of two days. The target group consisted of primary and middle school students, with 7 classes participating in the workshops, totaling 185 students and 7 teachers.
The workshops were a perfect fit, taking place during the Romanian Green Week initiative, combining theoretical and practical aspects, with technology also playing a significant role. Specifically, students created a physical map with drawn or constructed elements on which a bat-robot, precisely an ozobot, moved. This ozobot was programmed by students using color codes. Following the path of a real bat, students entered the fascinating world of bats and discovered how important they are in their lives.
Ozobots proved to be an excellent tool to introduce our students to the world of programming and to help them develop their STEM skills.
These workshops also made it to the map of the European Commission-supported initiative Code Week https://codeweek.eu/view/525237/atelier-caravana-cu-lilieci, thus providing them and our school with visibility.
Acquiring new knowledge about these wonderful mammals, programming ozobots, and the reward of a 3D bat represented an opportunity that each participant enjoyed. Therefore, presenting concrete information verified by experts and not taken from questionable sources to students in an interactive, dynamic manner that involved technology had a corresponding impact.