Speaker Spotlight: Chris Hamling

Chris Hamling

InTEACT is excited about having Chris Hamling from VEX Robotics joining us at the joint InTEACT/ACS 2016 Conference. Chris will be presenting in the Education stream on Tuesday 23rd August, and will be facilitating a VEX Robotics Workshop on Wednesday 24th August.

Topic: Inspiring a passion for STEAM Education through the sport of robotic competitions

All too often STEAM subjects are seen as the subjects that nerds take or subjects that are too difficult for main stream students. A ‘field of dreams’ exposes students to the fun side of technology with the result that they then become self-driven to dig deeper into the technologies that support their new sport. Students can compete with and ‘out of the box’ robot design but they quickly discover that interacting with other teams and sharing ideas improves their performance. Software becomes an important part of their competition robot as they need to automate as many tasks as possible to make the most of the 2 minutes they have in each match.

Students learn to work together and support each other while being self-motivated to do more.

Workshop: VEX Robotics and ‘No Robot- No Problem’

Exploring the world of programming robots without needing a physical robot. VEX IQ, Robot Virtual Worlds and the Carnegie Mellon CS-STEM Network combine to form a world class curriculum that supports students and educators from grassroots to being able to create relatively complex programs. Various levels are available from a Scratch like user interface to full blown C. Students are supported all the way with step by step tutorials. The educator’s support materials give in depth behind the scenes support. Software developed in the Virtual World can easily be put into Real World robots to reinforce the lessons learned.

Linking the Robot Virtual Worlds Application to the CS2N back end allows educators to track the progress of their students.

As there are versions for both VEX and LEGO we believe that there is no better solution available for your classroom and team.

VEX IQ links as examples:

The workshop will take you through the process of getting going with programming a virtual robot and show you how it can enhance your student’s learning process. It will also cover the link between Robot Virtual Worlds and designing your own virtual worlds by importing objects designed in Autodesk Inventor. Robot Virtual World Competitions will also be covered.

This workshop will not be a sales pitch. We genuinely feel that everyone has to be aware of what is so readily available and that this solution will make a huge difference in your classroom.

Attendees will be asked to install the free demo (full functionality just time limited) versions of the software (RobotC and Robot Virtual Worlds) just before the workshop. Details of how and when to do this will be sent to Attendees before the workshop.

About Chris

Chris Hamling is an entrepreneur who specialises in networked embedded systems and blue sky product development. He is He always strives to make the seemingly complex world of technology easy to understand. Passionately believing that STEM subjects and teachers should get more recognition for the role they play in our knowledge economy led him to the VEX robotics competition. His role as National Manager of the New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust (The Kiwibots) puts him in an ideal position to help people see that’s STEM is exciting and can be applied to almost everything.

Register for the 2016 InTEACT Conference now! Registrations close Tuesday 16th August 2016.

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