What do you get when you combine a robotics and programming teacher, a music teacher, and a dance teacher? A robot dancing to its own soundtrack! Believe it or not, this isn’t just a silly punchline, at CreaCamp, this is exactly the kind of result that facilitators hope for!
A CreaCamp is not your typical PD workshop. Educators walk in and are immediately greeted with several facilitators offering different workshops. Those facilitators then have 2 minutes to convince educators to join their workshop for the day.
On August 16, Dominic participated, as a facilitator, at a CreaCamp at Académie de la Seigneurie, co-organized by CFORP and L’École branchée.
Dominic was placed on a team with a dance teacher (Alexane Couture) and a music teacher (Marc-Antoine Joly), with the goal being to merge the three topics into something creative and have something to present at an end of the day talent show. Dominic showed the teachers how robots could be programmed to do a wide variety of actions, and the group decided to make their robot dance. This dance was perfected and choreographed with the instruction of the dance teacher, and then music was created with the aid of the music teacher, using Garage Band on the iPad, to bring together an entire symphony.
Many teachers, and even principals, were uneasy at the beginning of the day, as this is far from the type of workshop that educators are accustomed to. Instead of ‘sitting and getting’ while being presented to with premade slides, teachers were in charge of their learning for the day and expected to get very hands-on with their participating. However, nerves and unease quickly wore off as teachers began working together and facilitators shared their knowledge.
The result? A robot with some seriously skilled dance moves, bogeying to a one of a kind soundtrack. The show started with two robots, Cue and Dash, addressing the crowd, followed by a human dancer performing moves that would trigger the ultrasonic sensor of Cubelets to create magical effects. It seemed that the Cubelets were magically responding to her moves without any actual contact. Then in the second part, the Mindstorms EV3 were moving to perform elegant shapes in sync. And finally for the showstopper, a robotic drone was performing geometric figures above the audience heads all in sync with the music.
Not your average workshop, indeed, but very effective in allowing educators to experience STEAM for themselves and the benefits that collaboration and a merging of subjects can bring. It’s incredible what a difference incorporating the ‘A’ (for arts) in STEAM can make!