2015 GAR Foundation Annual Educator Conference

GAR_1In early October, three of my students and I were invited to speak to a variety of educators and school administrators from around Summit County at GAR Foundation’s Annual Educator Conference.

We had the opportunity to speak about the new Robotics program started at Springfield High School and Junior High last year. With funding from the GAR Foundation through a grant I wrote, Springfield Local Schools were granted $15,000 to purchase robotics materials and provide teacher training.

The students were in the Robotics 1 course last year. They used LEGO EV3 robotics kits and ROBOTC programming software to learn a variety of programming skills. Each of the students spoke about how this program has benefited him or her.

The students explained how they learned to problem solve and collaborate with others. They learned to break apart large problems into smaller more manageable tasks. Most of all, student learned to persevere. Even when they wanted to give up, they pressed on to complete the program.

These students and others will be taking a Robotics 2 course which will use LEGO NXT and TETRIX robots as they learn more advanced robotics programming.

I ended the presentation with a challenge for the administrators, “Let me encourage all of the principals and superintendents in the room to take a chance on some of the crazy ideas your teachers may have. Last year I started with around 70 robotics students. This year I am around 120. This is just getting started! Take a chance on your teachers! Support their ideas.”

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