Skip To Main Content

Custom Class: header-container

Custom Class: header-utility-container

Custom Class: header-breadcrumb


Robots Bring Boys Across Divisions Together

Fourth graders got a taste of the robotics program options that will become available to them in the future. On Friday, February 11, teachers/coaches Lynn Nichols, Elana Resnick, and Katie Schmidt brought a group of Middle and Upper School students, all of whom have recently competed in robotics competitions, to share their expertise with the excited Lower School boys.

There are three fourth grade classes, so the mentors divided and conquered. Resnick and her group displayed their competition robots and spoke about their components and capabilities. A lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” — and even spontaneous applause when the robot moved across the desks — ensued. Clearly, they were impressed. One mentor had some advice: “I recommend when you’re in Middle School that you do First Lego League.”

“We’re grateful to have a platform to collaborate with the Middle School teams and interact with the fourth grade students,” Resnick said. “We appreciated all of their exciting questions and are looking forward to having them participate in robotics events down the road! We’re proud of all of the robotics teams and the maturity that the students showed throughout presenting and participating in their events.”

Schmidt and her team brought a bunch of Ozobots — desk-friendly robots — that the fourth graders got to explore in pairs. They even got to try their hands in coding the tiny robots themselves. “It was such a rewarding experience for both the older boys, who got to show off their robots and share some of their robotics knowledge, as well as for the fourth graders who were so engaged and excited for a hands-on opportunity to program some of the robots themselves,” Schmidt said.

Nichols and her crew had larger robots for the younger boys to work with in small groups, each with a mentor to help them accomplish challenges, like moving the wheels and completing rotations. Collaborative cheers erupted when a group succeeded in a task. “Our older students were so excited to be able to share their love of STEM and give back to the community, and our younger students were thrilled with the opportunity to learn about coding, robotics, and Middle and Upper School STEM opportunities,” Nichols said. “We were so impressed with our older students who led workshops, and we appreciated that the fourth grade homeroom teachers were so accommodating in allowing us to stop by and showcase our robots. We are so glad Mrs. Fussell suggested this!”

The teachers and mentors completed a full rotation themselves as they moved through each classroom giving every fourth grader a chance to experience each activity. Boys were sure to show appreciation to their new robotics role models with fist bumps and handshakes.

Fourth grader Henry, who says he has coded before “but never like this” had a revelation after one activity. ”I feel like I’m smarter now.”


More News and Views from Roland Avenue and Beyond