St. Paul hosts STEM camp


Team Lighteningbolt builds their robot

Coach Bill Kent explains programming basics

St. Paul School in Cana, Virginia, recently hosted a free four-day robotics camp recently for students of families who responded to the invitation to enroll in the robotics program this summer.

Instructors from Cyberkids Robotics, a nonprofit organization, assisted students in building and programming a Lego robot.

These students are preparing for competitions that will take place in the upcoming school year.

This is St. Paul’s first time organizing a robotics program. Students on the two teams are scheduled to have a dedicated robotics time every week. Every other week students will stay after school to work with Cyberkids instructors.

Competitions center around a theme on which students research, present, and program missions. Not only are students using science, technology, engineering, and math skills, they are also using literacy and team-building skills to ensure success at competition.

Two school sponsors work closely with instructors to ensure continuation of learning during the time instructors are not on site. Melina Easter, fifth grade reading and writing teacher, and art and careers teacher Connie Rudisill, each said they are pleased to see this kind of learning take place in their school.

Rudisill stated, “On mixed grade level teams, these seven girls and ten boys work together as one and learn to respect each others’ opinions and creativity.”

Easter says, “Kids are using math in action- math beyond their grade-level curriculum standards, and they are understanding it. They are excited to work as a team; they’re learning the importance of communication, perseverance, and patience as they build and program these robots.The feedback from the parents has been so positive. A fourth grade boy even said, ‘I want to work with robots for the rest of my life.’ Isn’t that the impact we want to make?”

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