Sunday, June 08, 2014

Service-Learning with Robotics in Myanmar

 Late night on Friday, our team arrived in Yangon.  Yesterday, we went to Dagon University and University of Computer Studies Yangon (UCSY) to check out the venue where we are going to run workshops on robotics programming from Monday to Friday.  We brought our own US9.99 robot car sets, and designed a series of lessons to introduce the concepts of robot programming, the control of the motors that power the wheels, the capture of sensor input, the determination of environmental situation based on sensor input, the development of tactics to achieve goals, and turning derived tactics into control signal for the motors. We laid out some intricate tracks with obstacles for the robot cars to tackle.  There is, of course, going to be a competition among the students taking the workshop.

Both Dagon and UCSY took the workshops very seriously.  Dagon moved 30+ computers to a big hall, to give us space to work and to run the competition.  UCSY gave us a big air-conditioned laboratory, and removed a lot of computers to give us space to work.  

Our students checked out the computers, compatibility of software, the projectors, and laboratory environment.  They took to the tasks enthusiastically. They also realised that they need to make some changes to their teaching plans and material.  So they have work to do today.  We are all looking forward to the opening on Monday. 


Cyiu Chau said...

Wow, I didn't expect the lab at UCSY to be that well furnished.

How do you keep (emergency) contact with the students? I have heard that it's kinda hard to get cellphones (and sim cards) in Myanmar.

Haha, revising teaching plans and material is one of the things that is guaranteed to happen.

StephenC said...

You are right about cell phones. It is practically impossible to get one. Each of the 2 universities loaned a cell phone to us! Isn't it neat? And the 2 teams stayed at the same hotel at night. So we can meet and work. Have to spend more time travelling. But it is worth it.