Primary School Introduces Robots for Learning

Teachers in grades K-2 have been learning the basics of coding with small robots to integrate the new technology into their classes. Starting in January 2018, robots that look like bees have been taking over Princeton Primary School.

Lead by Technology Coaches Annie Porttiin, Samantha Statz, Nicole Cook and Tonia Anderson, and district Technology Integration Specialist Jodi Burling, lesson plans are being created to support math, literacy, team building and social skills using robots at each grade level, K through 2. The Princeton Primary School K-2 Robots project was made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act (LS-00-17-0024-17) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The grant includes funds for the robots, as well as professional development time for staff to create authentic lessons that utilize the robots to support learning standards within each grade level. Three different types of robots that others schools have had success in the primary grade levels were purchased, called Bee-Bots, Blue-Bots and Pro-Bots. The Bee-Bot resembles a yellow bee and all of the robots are programmed using physical buttons on the robot itself; No additional hardware or software is needed. There are more than two classroom sets of each type of robot, so they can be shared to use with an entire class or as a learning station across multiple classrooms depending on the lesson topic. As some classes have already begun using the robots, students are quickly learning the basics and solving math and literacy challenges through coding.