My students yearn to learn about coding and robotics. This year, we are taking on that challenge together! We are joining the FIRST Lego League, and we need LEGO WeDo and LEGO MINDSTORMS kits in order to participate. These kits will be used to design robots to solve the FIRST program’s mission challenge.
My students are a spicy, determined bunch who are a joy to teach!
Keeping their focus or finding their voice at school, however, is not easy for many of these children; social-emotional and academic challenges are often the rule, rather than the exception.
As their librarian and tech integrationist, I see how technology can open doors to literacy and learning and provide a foundation for students who struggle to find their academic footing. It offers a voice for those who need a different way to share what they know. But it also offers a push for those who are doing well and are ready to step up to an extra challenge. From video creation to coding to multi-age collaboration, school is where all students, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances at home, can experience technology in ways that expand their thinking...and confidence!
The FIRST Lego League is an international program designed to teach students applied science and mathematic skills, while also developing teamwork and building confidence. Using LEGO WeDo and MINDSTORMS kits, teams of up to 10 students work together to design and build robots to solve a mission designed by FIRST. This year's missions celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. I learned about the FIRST LEGO League Program in the Spring of 2018, and I am looking forward to bringing it to Newbury Elementary School this fall. I am especially excited that our sister school, Bradford Elementary, is joining the program as well, offering close-to-home collaboration and friendly competition!
I want my students to have high interest opportunities to work together to practice design thinking and problem solving skills that build their confidence along the way!
I believe the FIRST program aligns perfectly with this goal. The FIRST Core Values are:
Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
I am hoping to start 2-4 teams this year that will be open to students in grades K-6. I intend to run at least two of these teams during school hours so that all who want to participate can, regardless of afterschool transportation availability. I already have 15 students who have expressed interest and know more will jump on board once school starts, and our NES Math Coach is on board to coach as well. I hope you will help to support my students’ efforts and help me stretch their (our!) imaginations to the moon and back!
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