The Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) is funding a new initiative for a Robotics Project that has been rolled out provincially for the 2015-16 school year. This is to present opportunities to support students in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with a special focus on robotics and coding. CODE recognized that through the use of robotics, students will be engaged in the development of 21st century skills and competencies. Connecting students with the stimulating possibilities presented through robotics and related activities leads to opportunities for the development of interactive, collaborative, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills. The intended target group is for students in the primary and intermediate grades. Also to be considered are schools with greater need (economic and social challenges).
The expectation for the robotic kits is to support student instruction and teacher practice through classroom use and increase teacher capacity. Incorporating the use of robotics will be directed towards the specific groups of learners consistent with priorities outlined in the school and board improvement plans. This will enhance student success.
The select teachers involved in this pilot project are asked to provide feedback on the use of robotics and the impact they had on classroom instruction and student learning. Please see attached report. Robotics Pilot Project Reporting.pdf (120KB) This feedback will then be used for reporting purposes with the Ministry of Education.
An initial in-service was provided for the teachers participating in the pilot project on December 8, 2015. This in-service included information and details (i.e. purpose and expectations), sample lessons and activities specific to grade level, and basic level training on how to use the robots. Each teacher was given a class set (5 kits) of robotics. The teachers were also directed to Google drive, as this will be the platform that we are to use to communicate experiences, questions, issues, etc. amongst the group.
A second in-service is being planned to train teachers on programming robots.
The elementary schools involved in the 2015-16 pilot include: