BHS and Lane School Collaborate with iRobot for 7th Annual National Robotics Week

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Create-and-ScratchNational Robotics Week began its seventh year on April 2 with a record number of events – more than 250 – taking place across all 50 states.

Established in 2010 by the U.S. Congress and iRobot, a Bedford corporation and leader in the field of robotics, National Robotics Week raises awareness around the importance of education focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and the role these subjects play in shaping the future of our society’s youth, industry and the U.S. economy.

Matthew Hall, Lane School’s Instuctional Technology Specialist, wrote a lesson plan based on an adaptation from robotics activities that the Bedford High School students have been teaching at Lane School using iRobot’s Create2 robot and MIT’s Scratch software, then  BHS Technology instructor John O’Connor guided the BHS students in developing the skills to use in teaching students at Lane School. Every Thursday several BHS students visited Lane to work with a group of fifth graders on ‘hacking’ iRobot’s Create2 robot. Their goals? Finding out how the robot works with the Scratch software and then designing simple computer programs to control the robot online.

iRobot’s Create2 programmable robot offers educators and others an affordable STEM resource, and the company is sharing the Bedford robotics lesson plan based on the Create 2 platform as part of National Robotics Week. According to iRobot’s press release, “[The lesson plan is] very well put together and follows/meets all requisite educational standards for lesson plans with links to those standards within the plan.

“The BHSl students have become the ‘teachers’ and the students at Lane are super excited to work with them and learn from “non-traditional” teachers” said Hall. “It has been a fun experience to watch how they collaborate, interact, and even learn things from each other.”

“National Robotics Week events offer the public unique opportunities to interact with robots in hands-on learning environments,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “I encourage parents, teachers and other influencers to consider attending a local robotics event with their children or students. I can think of no better way to inspire students to pursue technology-related fields than exposing them to the excitement of robotics.”

Opportunities during National Robotics Week include panel discussions, robotics competitions, introductory robotics courses for kids, robot demonstrations and tours of innovative labs. For more information about National Robotics Week, go to: National Robotics Week is also on Twitter (@roboweek and #roboweek) and Facebook (

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