Bee-Bots are being piloted with kindergartners and pre-kindergartners, first and second graders in seven Boston Public Schools as part of a K-12 Engineering Pathway Grant initiated by TechBoston, the district-wide office that overseas technology integration in the schools.
Bee-Bot introductions are being led by Judy Robinson, STEM Curriculum Consultant from Alpha-Robotics. She has led both teacher training workshops and in-class presentations on using Bee-Bot in the classroom. She finds that both students and teachers are excited about use of Bee-Bots and quickly learn to program them.
As part of introducing Bee-Bots, Alpha-Robotics has developed a number of customized materials for use in Boston Public School classrooms, several pictured here. These include special mats, programming blocks, and image cards. These materials allow use of Bee-Bots in many different areas and channel the motivation Bee-Bots inspire to teach a variety of subjects, from mathematics to language arts.
Students in Boston Public Schools are ethnically and culturally diverse and Bee-Bots have proven especially good at cutting through language and cultural barriers. Judy was especially enthusiastic about her experience with the students and teachers in a K1 and K2 Vietnamese sheltered English class and reports: “The students have done a spectacular job of programming the Bee-Bot to travel on different paths on any mat. I would say about 80% have created complicated programs.”