Gove Elementary students introduced to robotics

BELLE GLADE — Mrs. Zavala, S.T.E.A.M. co-teacher and Garden Club sponsor, has been working with kindergarten through sixth-grade students during classes to introduce them to robotics and coding. This includes teaching algorithms (a set of rules for accomplishing a task in a certain number of steps). Kindergarten and first-graders created algorithms to sequence the events in the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear. The students in second through sixth grades learned to use algorithms to create steps to complete individual game boards.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/GES
Kindergarten and first-graders created algorithms to sequence the events in the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

In addition to number codes, all students have been learning how to use black lines and color codes drawn in patterns to design pathways for small robotics called Ozobots. Step by step instructions were given to allow students to practice creating the codes correctly so that the Ozobots could move at different speeds, directions, and perform elaborate movements.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/GES
The students in second grades learned to use algorithms to create steps to complete individual game boards.

Other robots were used to create model recreations of habitats of endangered Everglades animals. Students worked in small groups to set up scenes of sea turtles nesting and hatching. In addition, scenes were also set up to show food chains. Other scenes showed examples of dangers that animals, such as manatees and sea turtles, face that are caused by humans. Connecting robotics and science standards has helped engage the students and make academic connections.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/GES
The students in sixth grades learned to use algorithms to create steps to complete individual game boards.

Mrs. Zavala’s STEAM class was recently visited by staff from Palm Beach Education Foundation, which provided funding through the Go Teach Grant program to cover costs of the classroom set of Ozobots used by all our students during STEAM classes. It has been a successful seven weeks filled with lots of fun and learning. The robots will continue to be used to reinforce literacy, math and science content in other STEAM units.

Kuddos to Mrs. Zavala for doing such an amazing job engaging the students in today’s technology.

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