Students are discovering how to learn math with robots, and the benefits are especially helpful for girls. At American Canyon High School and Middle School, the enjoyment of working with robotics is so widespread that the students don’t realize they are learning math in the process. This keeps girls engaged, especially when they begin to lose interest in math in middle school, or get the message that math isn’t for girls.
“What kid is not going to like playing with robotics,” said American Canyon Middle School Principal Dan Scudero. “They don’t always realize they’re learning math at the same time initially. Later on they realize, ‘Oh, I’m learning math,’ and having fun, which is what it should be.”
At American Canyon Middle School, math teacher Tammy Lee introduced sixth graders to Linkbots, small modular robots. The program has since expanded to high school as well.
Freshman Katrina Cole found that math was enjoyable before Linkbots, but at times it was challenging. However, “when we were able to incorporate robots in it, it helped you pick up on the topics quicker” in math classes, she said.
“It’s just a great experience,” said sophomore Sara Jahangiri. “The main reason I do it is because of the team. I play sports but robotics is always a team I can depend on. We work well together, and we learn together.”