I started Tech Tuesday’s last year at Allendale Columbia School as a way to share and learn how teachers are using technology in the classroom and connect our school community. We had our first Tech. Tuesday of this school year on September 27th (It was actually a Thursday due to some scheduling issues). Our first session featured a group that is new to our school. We have been calling them the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) team.
Our long time lower school science teacher retired late this summer. Lower School Head, John Sullivan decided to hire a group called Vista Teach to take over the science program. They had been doing robotics summer camps at our school this year. Their camp attendance was outstanding and the program was innovative and fun. They incorporate robotics at all levels but will continue to cover life sciences that have been traditionally taught in our science program.
This Tech. Tuesday took a fieldtrip to the STEM classroom to see firsthand what our students in grades 1st through 5th will learn about in science this year.
The students are asked to program these simple robots to do a variety of tasks. It’s amazing that kids as young as 1st grade can get involved in that type of thinking, planning and programming.
There are laptops set up for students to use as they program their robots to do a variety of tasks. Students are given goals, not templates in order to complete the assignments. This kind of open ended activity emphasizes divergent thinking. All in all it was a great overview of how robotics fits into their program. It’s awesome that we now get to offer these opportunities to our students as part of their everyday science curriculum!