How this school designed a robotics program from the ground up – eSchool News

As a former computer engineer with a background in applied math, Im a firm proponent of STEM education. As a math teacher with 14 years of experience facilitating robotics clubs for students, Im also an ardent supporter of programming and robotics as a vehicle for STEM ed, so when I had the opportunity to build a K5 robotics program from the lab up, I leapt at the opportunity.

Our school is a brand-new Title 1 campus. Were in our first year and just opened in August, so were still tweaking and learning as we go, but weve developed a solid foundation for introducing studentseven those who are very youngto a range of STEM and other concepts in an environment that feels more like fun than work. Heres how we did it.

When I was designing the robotics program, I wanted to make sure we were building a bridge from kindergarten all the way to 5th grade and beyond, so our program is designed to be progressive throughout the six years students are with us and to set them up for more advanced robotics in middle and high school, should they choose to pursue it.

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For kindergartners and first graders, we use two products: LEGOs STEAM Parkand KinderLabs KIBO.

STEAM Park uses Duplo LEGO bricks and gears, pulleys, and other simple machines to help very young children begin to understand concepts like leverage, chain reactions, motion, measurement, and even buoyancy, which isnt usually introduced until 2nd grade.

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How this school designed a robotics program from the ground up - eSchool News

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