Robotics Play Ignites Kids’ Imaginations
Students in St. Vincent de Paul’s after-school program at our Family Success Center are enthralled with science, technology and math several days each week, thanks to an innovative curriculum called LEGO® WeDo.
“I love it!” said one little girl who’s been participating in the class. “We get to build robots and stuff.”
She is one of about 30 children who are taking part in the program, which has met for two nights a week all fall. One class is for students in kindergarten through second grade, and a second class is for students in grades 3 through 5.
Led by instructors from Jefferson County Public Schools, the LEGO® WeDo program reinforces science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts as well as problem-solving, teamwork and perseverance.
“The kids in third, fourth and fifth grades are using LEGO®s to build things like race cars and tadpoles and cranes, even tow trucks,” says David Leggett (left), an SVDP case manager who is overseeing the program.
“The kids will also learn programming to make those things move: go forward, turn left, turn right, and shake.” [Learn more: www.legoeducation.com]
Funded by a grant from Kosair Charities, the interactive classes feature advanced technology, including 12 iPads with child-designed, heavy-duty cases with handles, a mobile cart, and 12 sets of LEGO® WeDo 2.0 sets The grant also pays for the two JCPS instructors for eight weeks.
After the holidays, the students will be working with Mindstorms, an advanced robotics curriculum that already has the kids buzzing with anticipation.
This story appears in the November issue of SVDP’s free monthly newsletter, the ‘Good Samaritan.’ To subscribe, go here.