Perry Township Education Foundation

Grants Grant Stories

Nicole Swisher

School

Douglas MacArthur Elementary School

Grant Title

May the SPRK Be with You: Building STEM-rich Students

Synopsis

“May the SPRK Be with You” is an opportunity to engage my diverse learners with real-world problem solving through STEM activities. With the world of technology constantly evolving and increasing the demand for jobs in the four areas that STEM addresses, I feel it is my responsibility to expose my students to what is going to be in their future. With this grant, I will be able to use robotics and iPads to teach my students how to code and become critical thinkers as well as problem solvers. This grant will align perfectly with our Indiana State Science Standard 4, focusing on science, engineering, and technology. This is even research to back the findings that having children engaged in STEM activities improves their academic learning. In utilizing the Sphero SPRK (School, Parents, Robotics, Kids) Editions, my students will be able to create specific code to determine the moves and directions of the Sphero SPRK robots. They will use these skills to maneuver the robots through obstacle courses and different challenges. As with the Sphero SPRK, the Ozobots will also use code but through lines of certain colors drawn on paper. These Ozobots will bring a whole new dynamic to the STEM activities. Students will not only create code, but they will decipher the order of given codes to enable their Ozobot to maneuver the challenge presented. We may not have grown up in a time where robotics were so prevalent, but we cannot deny the fact that our students now will and are growing up with a plethora of technology that could possibly end up being a part of their future careers. My goal is for my students of all levels and backgrounds to have the opportunity to see what lies ahead for them. I want them to become more adept with higher level thinking questions and activities in an integrative way with the use of STEM robotics.