Rio Robotics is a beginning course in Robotics, which utilizes Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits. Students collaborate in teams to design, build, create and program autonomous robots to accomplish different tasks and complete various challenges; such as “Sumo-Bots “, “Plant Sorter”, “Maze Challenge”, “Shot Put Challenge”, and “Search and Rescue Robots”.
There is considerable anecdotal evidence that students respond well in subjects involving programming of robots. One of the most frequent and widely supported calls for change in contemporary education is for newly envisioned curriculum that integrates math, science, and technology content and skills. Although robotics may at first seem exotic, on closer examination it provides a natural fit with good pedagogy that emphasizes meaningful problem-based learning, integration and application of knowledge, hands-on learning in cooperative groups, and demonstrable mastery of new learning. It attracts students to content domains such as mechanics, electrical circuits, and applied mathematical reasoning that all too often are stumbling blocks for middle school students. Robotics engages students in complex, strategic problem-solving and higher-order thinking—a set of skills that is a high priority for 21st century education. What is more, this kind of problem-solving can be introduced in a gradual, self-motivated way, so beginner students can experience satisfying achievements right away and can quickly move on to new challenges in a continuous progression toward greater levels of sophistication.