SEARCA conducts Lego ideation session on robotics for staff

  • By Katerina M. Vargas
  • 20 April 2022, Wednesday

The participants and facilitators in the SHARING Café at the start of the ideation session on Lego robotics.The participants and facilitators in the SHARING Café at the start of the ideation session on Lego robotics.

Felta Multimedia Inc., official distributor of Lego education materials and robotics in the Philippines, visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to train selected representatives from each unit and department of the organization on 7 April 2022. This is the second on-site InnovEIGhts ideation session on Lego education robotics and it was the first event held at the SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation (SHARING) Café.

The ideation session, titled “Brewing Education and Creativity AGRI 4.0,” brought together 20 SEARCA staff and three Lego robotics trainers. The basics of building, programming, and operating Lego were taught, and the proper usage of the accompanying software was also demonstrated. Part of the session also introduced the participants to the Snapmaker and DOBOT robotic arm, both of which will be in the SHARING Café.

The SHARING Café is an interactive component of the SHARING innovation spaces, which aims to provide a creative learning experience geared towards Agriculture 4.0 in Southeast Asia. The SHARING Café will be an innovative venue for “play-to-learn” activities for guests and fun learning modules for K-12 students in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, challenges SEARCAns to be centers of innovation.Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, challenges SEARCAns to be centers of innovation.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio gave the opening remarks to jumpstart and encourage the Center staff.

In his speech, he enticed the SEARCA staff to become the focal and in-house resource persons for their respective departments and units. He also encouraged and reiterated the commitment of the organization towards Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN), with SEARCAns as the center of innovation. Finally, he mentioned that the SHARING Café will carry world-class tools for creativity and innovation.

The activities of the training were surprisingly challenging for the SEARCA staff, but this did not stop them from having fun. Energies were high and competition was indeed brewing as a last-minute Director’s Cup was held. The 20 SEARCAns were grouped into five, each equipped with their own robotic Lego set (EV3Lab) that they built and programmed themselves. They were then brought to the SHARING Open Learning Space and made to race their cool robots. The first team to have successfully programmed their machine to make it from the starting point and back was given recognition by Dr. Gregorio.

The DOBOT robotic arm and the software were displayed for introduction to the participants.The DOBOT robotic arm and the software were displayed for introduction to the participants.

All 20 participants will be certified by Felta as Lego education trainees of the Center, equipped to instruct interested learners. The next ideation session is dedicated to programming the Lego robots and a detailed demo for the SNAP maker and DOBOT. This session will complete the training of the selected SEARCA staff.

Asst. Prof. Glenn N. Baticados, Program Head, Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD), closed the event by graciously thanking the Felta team and the SEARCAns who excitingly participated in the first ideation session held at SHARING Café. He challenged the trainees to brew a proposal or project relevant to their respective departments, that would encourage innovative minds to undertake the world-class facilities and tools of the SHARING innovation spaces.

Ms. Annalyn Aban from Felta Multimedia Inc. Explaining the goal of Lego education.Ms. Annalyn Aban from Felta Multimedia Inc. Explaining the goal of Lego education.

The learning event was facilitated by Ms. Annalyn Aban with assistance from Mr. Lance Aban and Mr. Jovin Cinco of Felta Multimedia Inc. The Lego education sets used were WEDO 2.0 and EV3Lab. WEDO 2.0 was developed to engage and motivate elementary students' interest in learning science and engineering subjects. EV3Lab is a third-generation robotics kit in Lego’s Mindstorm line.

SEARCAns pose with Dr. Gregorio after the Director’s cup. The finished product and race machine of each team.SEARCAns pose with Dr. Gregorio after the Director’s cup. The finished product and race machine of each team.

The SEARCAns who participated were Mr. Benedict A. Juliano of Applied Knowledge Resource Unit (AKRU); Ms. Kristine Quilapio of Human Resource Management Unit (HRMU); Mr. John Kenneth G. Abella of Management Information Systems Unit (MISU); Ms. Blessie P. Saez of the Education and Collective Learning Department; Ms. Marie Cris P. Mendoza of the General Services Unit (GSU); Ms. Karen M. Javier of the Facilities Management Unit (FMU); Mr. Nathan P. Felix of the Partnerships Unit (PU); Mr. Anthony L. Sarino of the Treasury Services Unit (TSU); Ms. Danellie Joy O. Medina of the Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD); and Ms. Amy P. Antonio, Ms. Bethel Ann Dannah T. Limos, Ms. Stella Faye B. Estrella, Mr. Ronald P. Salazar, Mr. Jerrel Edric B. Mallari, Asst. Prof. Baticados, Ms. Lichelle Dara E. Carlos, and Ms. Katerina M. Vargas, all from the Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD).

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