On Thursday, October 5, 2017, a group of fourteen school Superintendents and Directors from the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (IU) in Pennsylvania visited several local schools. The purpose of the visit was to share how Garrett County Public Schools leverage FIRST Robotics teams to enhance its instructional program. Schools visited were Southern Garrett High School, Friendsville Elementary School, and Northern Middle School. The group also visited the GEARS facility in Accident, Maryland, to further meet with Garrett County’s high school robotics team, FRC 1629, GaCo.
At Southern High School, Pennsylvania Superintendents learned how FIRST Robotics programs are used to support computer science and digital electronics classes. The group then traveled to Friendsville Elementary to participate in a third grade STEM lesson that GaCo students teach in every third grade classroom in Garrett County. Northern Middle School teachers and students were able to share how FIRST programs have been used in their sixth grade technology education classes as well as provide opportunity for students to apply their math and science skills.
Superintendents expressed their interest in continuing their conversation with FRC 1629 on how FIRST Robotics programs can enhance the instructional program in their respective school districts. The team has already received invitations from several Tuscarora school districts to share their vision and initiatives with their instructional staff in Pennsylvania. Superintendents extended sincere gratitude to Garrett County Public Schools and FRC 1629 for hosting their visit with universal consensus of a very worthwhile and invigorating experience. Tuscarora IU learned about Garrett County’s robotics Initiative from a pre-conference workshop that Team 1629 conducted at the Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning last spring.
Ms. Clevenger’s third grade students at Friendsville Elementary School and Tuscarora IU Superintendents engaged in a LEGO based STEM lesson being taught by FRC 1629, GaCo, high school students.
FRC 1629, GaCo, students with Ms. Clevenger’s third grade and Tuscarora IU at the conclusion of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lesson taught by GaCo students. Ms. Clevenger’s students are displaying their LEGO contraptions they made and received as a gift from GaCo as a result of the STEM lesson. Each of the members of the Tuscarora IU also got to keep the LEGO contraptions (which spins a top) they made through the STEM lesson as well.
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