2017 Mini-Grant Outcomes

Benjamin Hurley – Pangborn Elementary School

Award: $1,000
Project: Ozobots
Students Impacted: 200+

Our classroom, and myself, really appreciate the generosity from that this grant has given us. The Ozobots purchased were, and will continue, to primarily be used for 3rd grade. Students in the technology encore class, have been working on coding robots using different tools. With the Ozobots, they have been given an opportunity to put some abstract ideas of coding into practice. The older students in 3rd and 4th grade had an opportunity with solving and creating mazes and then programming the robot to navigate. Students used measuring skills and a special grid paper to design their maze. They then transferred what they had been working on in coding in Code.org to the “Ozo-Blockly” programming language. Use that language and some exploration they were able to challenge each other to program their robot to successfully navigate the maze that they had been given or the maze that they designed. The younger grades in 2nd grade also got an opportunity to explore the color coding options that Ozobot offers to begin their experience with these robots.

Overall, the ability to put some abstract practice into physical action has really been an exciting motivator for my students. They were expected and able to use math and critical thinking problem solving skills as well as science skills in engineering and design to become the workers and solve problems. Having extension opportunities like this are paramount to student success in multiple areas of discipline in their academic career. With the grant you have supplied us with these materials will continue to serve many students in the many years to come. As of right now, my 5th graders are looking forward to using robots as a choice project for their “end-of-the-year” independent and small group study.

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Jennifer Clinger – Hickory Elementary School

Award: $4,936
Project: Makerspace Mania
Students Impacted: 300

Through the use of Makerspace students have experienced lessons that are incorporating kinesthetic arts, creative projects, and hands-on activities. Students have experienced real-world problems and developed problem solving skills, resilience, and perseverance.
Students have shown growth in creativity. These are the essential understandings that we have worked towards this year:

  • Curious learners are inquisitive; they explore, test and evaluate all possibilities.
  • Multiple approaches and perspectives (divergent thinking) lead to unique solutions and valid explanations.
  • Creativity is not just about the product; it is a way of thinking.
  • Creativity can be fostered through imaginative and purposeful strategies that improve with practice.
  • Creative learners are not rigid; they look at things from different points of view.

On April 24, 2018, we sponsored a Makerspace Mania night for families to come and explore the Makerspace materials and participate in various stations around the gym.  Families were very  positive in their feedback to the event and I hope to have a similar event again.