January 12, 2017
Grant brings Ozobots, Spheros, robots and more than 160 K-8 students together
Ozobots, Spheros, robots, and more than 160 students in grades K-8— both girls and boys — occupied every corner of Normal Community West High School on December 9, 2016, for the “Girls Who Code” event.
The evening focused on programming robots and coding and was funded in part by a $2,500 Beyond the Books Educational Foundation grant to April Schermann, a computer science teacher at NCWHS.
The Computer Science for All grant allowed Schermann to purchase Spheros, Makeblock starter robot kits, Makey Makey inventor kits, and more.
According to Schermann, “The goal of the grant was to enhance our science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum with the introduction of robotics. The idea is that by integrating robots and computer programming into our math classes, more students become exposed to computer science.” Schermann added that the materials are being used daily in class.
The special STEM event was an opportunity for the high school students to demonstrate what they have been learning to middle school and elementary students.
“I am very passionate about bringing computer science opportunities to every student, especially low income and minority students who might not sign up to take Computer Science courses,”Schermann said.
Schermann also noted that integration of curriculum is an essential part of student success. If students start to see connections between the classes they take, they will be able to retain more information and apply their skills when new problems arise.
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