A few weeks back, Mr. Eisenbraun (Austintown Middle School STEM teacher) emailed Mr. Kramer, a YSU professor, to invite him to bring in his robot. Mr. Kramer agreed and excitement quickly filled the air of the STEM rooms. Flyers were made and put all around AMS for 6th and other 7th graders to attend the upcoming Junior STEM meeting. “I was getting really excited,” said STEM 7th grader Gavin Precurato. “I personally know how to solve a Rubik's Cube and have never seen one of these before in person.” Some students were curious to know how the robot could solve the cube with a different scramble every single time. They later found out that a special computer program used numbers and special move sets called algorithms to make the robot solve the cube quickly.
Thursday, November 16 was the big day for some of the kids like Gavin who were really interested. “I have never seen one of these before,” said STEM 7th grader Luke Whorten. “I am really excited to see how fast the robot can solve the cube.” Normally, the bell would ring at 2:30 for dismissal. However, this was the day for Junior STEM, which meant that most of the 7th and 8th graders would be staying after school to teach 6th and other 7th graders cool activities that they do. They would only get 30 minutes out of 60 to teach the kids since Mr. Kramer was bringing in the robot. Everybody gathered into the a classroom where Mr. Kramer soon walked in. Anticipation could be felt when Mr. Kramer got out his laptop and robot to begin setting up. “Let me explain how this works,” said Mr. Kramer, as the robot was almost ready to begin solving. “In order for the robot to solve the cube, there needs to be a program which involves a great deal of numbers and algorithms.” Students began getting a better understanding of how the robot works and any confusion the students had was mostly cleared. Once the program was set up and ready to go, Mr. Kramer pressed a button and everybody began to record this once in a lifetime event.
“Initial launching,” said the EV3 Lego Robot once Mr. Kramer hit the button on his laptop. The Rubik’s Cube sat on a platform which is what turned 1 of it’s 6 sides. A handle then grabbed the cube and flipped it to the right side whenever a different side needed to be turned. Every move the robot made was broadcasted on Mr. Kramer’s laptop. Two minutes later, all 6 sides of the cube were solved. Some clapped and cheered, as others were speechless. “Let's try my cube,” said Gavin Precurato. “I am curious to know if there is only 1 specific kind of cube that the robot can solve.” It turns out that Gavin’s cube did not work. It was because the sensor thought that the white side on the cube was blue. “At least we tried,” said Mr. Kramer. “You never know unless you try.” Students scrambled up the cube once again and put it into the robot. Mr. Kramer hit go, and it began to solve. A couple minutes later, it was solved. Everybody clapped and cheered once more, and they were soon sad to see that Mr. Kramer had to go. Mr Kramer thanked everyone for coming and hoped that everyone had a great time. Everybody did have a great time. In fact, it was one of the best Junior STEM meetings this year. After that, everyone moved into a different classroom to show the 6th and 7th graders a conveyor belt that they made, students then called an end to a great Junior STEM meeting.
“It takes skill, time, and a lot of patience to build this robot,” Mr. Kramer once said. ”You must put your mind to it and in the end, it is all worth it. Trust me”