Holy Child Adds a New Dimension to the Petting Zoo
Eighth-grade students in School of the Holy Child’s Design Programming class hosted a wild and wonderful Robotic Petting Zoo on January 24. Using Hummingbird Robotics kits, they built models, which they then coded in the program, Scratch. The pets each had at least two motors and lights that were initiated by a sensor, set off by the pat or touch of a petting zoo visitor. As sensors were activated, tails wagged, fins rotated, and ears twitched. Among the creative crew of robotic pets brought to life by visiting members of the Holy Child community were a pig, jellyfish, chicken, narwhal, bunny, cat, and sea turtle.
The project was the brainchild of Michelle Sherry, Director of Instructional Technology and Computer Science teacher, and Christine Farrell, a member of the Middle School Robotics and Math faculty as well as a Holy Child graduate, class of 2005.
Mrs. Sherry, who has been at Holy Child for 24 years, said, “I love this project because it draws together design, art, coding, and robotics. It is an introduction to the iterative design process and gives the girls an in-depth, long term, multi-dimensional problem-solving experience.”
The eighth-grade class in Design Programming is the culmination of Holy Child’s Middle School Coding, Engineering, and Robotics classes taught from fifth through seventh grade. Mrs. Sherry is excited to see where her students’ curiosity will take them next. She noted, “While the petting zoo is a wonderful collaborative project, it is really a springboard into more challenging builds. The next project will be to build a robotic model of a curriculum topic of the student’s choice that is coded in Python and uses two types of gears.”
Holy Child eighth graders displaying their robotic petting zoo models.