Elementary students and teachers are discovering that robotics promote hands on learning
At St. Patrick School in Kent, students are learning robotics in bi-weekly technology classes during an eight week period. They have been learning computer programming and coding skills for the past four years, and are now pairing those skills with robotics. Media and technology teacher Lucy Zaynor introduced coding to the K-8 technology curriculum when she began teaching at the school in 2013.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, funds were allocated toward a robotics program. In addition to purchasing robotics kits and curriculum, some students attended a summer robotics camp. There is also an after school program to complement what students learn in class.
“Learning robotics helps young students, who are still learning with their eyes and hands, to visually work through problems,” said principal Howard Mancini. “Building a working robot starts with learning how an animal or person moves,” she said. “Students then build their skills by putting movable and interactive pieces together.”
Students work in pairs as they build each piece. Students have designated responsibilities, which enables them to lead and follow.
“There is a big push in education to foster collaborative education,” Zaynor said. “Having students work together in small groups does just that.”