Sydni Neves applied for an Excel Grant last fall on behalf of the 4th and 5th grade teachers at McMicken Heights Elementary. Their goal was to partner with their elementary students to create innovative robotics projects using Lego’s WeDo sets and Scratch (the free programming software from MIT).
They planned to use the materials with the 4th grade students during the day and then offer a 6-week class after school to fifth and sixth grade students.
According to Sydni: “We set out to introduce 4th and 5th graders to robotics using Lego’s WeDo Kits. Students learned how to made different figures and then connect them to a computer. Each group then used Scratch to program the moving parts.”
For the after school program, Sydni worked to recruit girls and then students who were not very successful as scholars.
“Many of the students who participated in these activities had never built anything with Lego materials before. Students had to communicate and work in groups. They all reported having fun and feeling successful in the end. I think this made a difference in our school because this enriching activity helped kids to see themselves as successful and smart.”
Now a short word from the class: