ISA-Funded Pilot Robotics Program A Success! - ISA Edmonton

ISA-Funded Pilot Robotics Program A Success!

May 10, 2017

Students from Pine Street Elementary working with robotics kits and iPads.

"Technology offers opportunities to be more actively involved in the learning process." - Vanessa Vega, Edutopia

The ISA Edmonton Section is proud to have funded a pilot Robotics Program at Pine Street Elementary for the 2016/2017 school year. Funds were used to purchase 15 robotics kits and replacement parts.

On Monday, May 8, Dave Robinson, the ISA Edmonton Section Board Member that secured the funding, stopped by Pine Street Elementary School for a first-hand look at how the program was going...

"I was thrilled to see the excitement the students had while using the kits. They were all very focused on what they were doing", said Robinson. 

"My main goal for the program was to increase the interest in and to introduce some of the base skills needed to work in Instrumentation & Automation. The evolution of this program will really open up possibilities for students that normally wouldn’t engage in this subject matter", he added. 

The program was created and run by Chris Sudyk, Pine Street Elementary School Teacher, and Jason Reed, Bricks 4 Kidz Franchisee (Edmonton Southwest, Sherwood Park & St. Albert). In it's first year, students in grades 4, 5 and 6 were gifted 5 to 6 hours of "Level 1" robotics education in their curriculum. They learnt basic programming like robot movement (turns, directions & loops), visual and audio outputs and troubleshooting. 

"I see a lot of robotics product in schools, but no curriculum", said Reed. 

"We're looking to build a sustainable program that integrates programming and robotics with skills from core subjects like mathematics and language arts," said Sudyk. "Our hope is that each student leaves Pine Street Elementary with a solid understanding of programming and robotics, well-developed competencies like problem-solving, communication and critical thinking, and the ability to use the skills they've learnt in real-world situations", he added. 

Next year the plan is to add Level 2 (for grades 5 and 6) and the following year Level 3 (for grade 6), so that by 2019/2020, students will receive 3 years of robotics education (Level 1 will be taught in grade 4, Level 2 in grade 5 and Level 3 in grade 6). 

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