Impact Stories

  • LPIE

The Value of Robotics at Stanley

One of the offerings in Stanley Middle School’s impressive array of elective classes is Robotics, taught by Ms. Parini. This class is a fantastic opportunity for our Stanley Students to learn not only hands-on STEM skills, but important life skills as well. Ultimately, Robotics is not just about teaching programming and engineering skills; it also prepares our children to be creative problem solvers, collaborative team members, and critical thinkers. It sets students up to pursue STEM classes in high school and college, and for future career paths — STEM-related or not. As Ms Parini say, “Middle school is the ideal time to expose students to a wide variety of subjects and disciplines. To show them what they can do, to get them excited about new areas, to spark interest for future pursuits.”

Robotics is offered as part of 6th- and 7th-grade WHEEL and as a year-long course in 8th grade. In 6th grade, the students start working with Makey Makey invention kits, Sphero robots, and Scratch programming. Then in 7th grade, the students develop their robot programming and coding skills further using mBot robots and their mBlock5 programming software, as well as starting to work with JavaScript though code.org. 8th grade brings a higher level of complexity with students designing and programing Lego Robots, which incorporate sensors to follow lines, sort colors, and respond to their environment.

Whatever the robot and programing platform, the purpose is to engage students in project design and engineering while fostering problem solving, perseverance, and independent thinking. Projects include dancing robots, sphero chariots, navigating robots though mazes and maps, rollercoaster marble mazes, gravity cars, robot soccer, and much more. Students are given a goal and set of criteria and then work to solve the challenge though a “build, test, rebuild’ approach that teaches that experimentation and failure are paths to success. Group challenges encourage teamwork and the value of learning from others.

In conclusion , we leave you with this quote from The Tech Edvocate: “Teaching robotics to young students throughout their schooling can increase their ability to be creative and innovative thinkers and more productive members of society.” — from Five Reasons to Teach Robotics in Schools (worth a read!)

LPIE is proud to fund 24 electives sections at Stanley including Robotics and other STEM classes.