Wanted: Beginning Robotics Class

Hi, I have been asked to create a robotics curriculum for my high school. I don't have any experience in Robotics but since I teach
programming they thought I could handle it (*rolling eyes*). I'd like to take a class or workshop for beginners. Any suggestions where to get started.
I live in Northern California so west coast locations are preferred. An online class for credit would be ideal, or a week-long workshop or internship.
Thanks!
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Edit: After posting this message I found this link for any others who are interested: http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/content/lego/teacher_training/sub_pages/web_courses/index.htm
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Try one of these. I am sure your school has a TI Graphing calculaltor and this uses the built in TI basic. http://www.smallrobot.com/scimath.html Not real complicated, but an easy successful starting spot. Here is a free classroom book designed for middle school. http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/239512main_Calculator_Controlled_Robots.pdf
Rick Norland Research
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jsidell wrote:

I don't know the specifics of the curriculum they have, but Parallax is big in schools that don't do the FIRST thing (and many don't because of the costs). Their BOE-Bot platform is fairly capable, and can be assembled and disassembled many times, in order to help those interested in the mechanics and not just the electronics or programming.
It's all self-study, of course, and Parallax's claim to fame is their printed and online support materials.
They are in Northern California, not that it makes a difference.
On a similar note, I have proposed an online course in beginning robotics to a well-known e-training site. Haven't heard anything back yet. It may be too narrow of a market for them, but we'll see.
-- Gordon
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wrote:

Just to second Gordon's previous point. When I got back into robotics after a ~20 absence I started with a boebot kit and worked through the accompanying manuals. These are very well written. I usually start new members of the college robotics team with a boebot kit and have them work though the manuals. For high school robotics, I recommend starting with the vex components. These are robust and there is a healthy competition group which provides lots of external motivation. I would recommend Robot C as a programming environment with the VEX parts. Once you get a vex group down, FIRST is a nice step up in difficulty. Of course from your message it sounds like this is more something that you HAVE to do. In that case, you might want to just get the school to invest in a bunch of parallax robots and curriculum. It is the most "ready to run" and polished of the any of the curriculum that I have worked with. I have taught a sumo robot school for the past three winters, but I do it as a six week course, so this probably wouldn't work for you!
have fun, mmason
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