Monday, October 27, 2014

District Adminstrators Discover Robotics

Here's a nice article on robotics in the classroom I just came across in District Administrator magazine. The content I post here for kids generally is much more interesting than content anywhere for administrators, but this piece provides some good information and I'll include it. Nice to see that district administrators are becoming  aware of something important and exciting that's going on in classrooms in some schools and really should be happening in all of them.

"Robots move from clubs to classrooms

Robots playing a bigger role in STEM education..."
"Many districts are charging up their K12 STEM courses with the use of robotics.
At the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, robotics has expanded from after-school clubs to their K12 curriculum.
This was due in part to the new STEM academy that opened at Skyline High School in 2009, says Axel Reitzig, St. Vrain’s STEM coordinator.
“Over the last five years or so, our district really developed a goal to be more STEM-orientated,” says Reitzig. “And with many of our elementary and middle schools feeding into Skyline, we felt like robotics would be something to get our students excited about STEM.”
On top of the curriculum, St. Vrain high school students can join robotics clubs and competition teams. They also can now take a course in which they design and build robots.
One activity, for example, involves a medical simulation in which students use their robots to move through an artificial human intestinal tract, says Reitzig.
The middle schools also use an aquatic robotics program. Students build a robot that can float and move through water using basic materials, such as PVC pipes."
"Students then test their robots on an obstacle course at a local pool. In elementary schools, students learn the basics of robotics from video game simulations.
The clear benefits of robotics are increased student engagement and collaboration—but there’s more, Reitzig says.
“To us, building STEM skills means really mastering technology,” he says. “When students are designing and building robots, there’s a lot of trial and error and they’re getting that immediate feedback, helping them piece together the whole picture.”
At Fayette County Schools in Kentucky, robotics has grown from an after-school activity into two middle school electives and elementary-level lessons, says Leanna Prater, the district’s technology resource coordinator.
In middle school science, robots are used in the study of motion. In one lesson, students build a robotic leg and foot that kicks a ball. They measure the distances of the kicks when the ball or power level of the robot is changed.
Fourth graders study geometry and angles with robots that rotate by different degrees..."


  1. When our children were younger, the local library held robotics club meetings. Later the school had club meetings. I am glad to see robotics in classrooms now - it is a definitely a concept and skill young people should understand.

  2. See article @

    for a much greater in-depth look of robotics in the classroom to teach core curriculum content!