On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Martin County School Board announced a new immersive learning experience to all elementary and middle schools during the second semester of the 2021-2022 school year. The school board approved using the LEGO Education Robotics program in fourth and sixth through eighth grades, Oct. 19. According to the school board documentation, elementary schools will see the robotics program introduction in February and middle schools in January.
The LEGO Education Robotics program is part of the LEGO learning system, helping children engage with a hands on investigation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics or STEAM. Students use everyday scenarios to learn computer science and design engineering concepts while developing literacy, math, and social-emotional skills as their concepts become a reality. According to the LEGO Education website, the curriculum is "designed around playful, narrative based problem-solving with relatable themes that develop young students into independent thinkers," according to the LEGO Education website.
The MCSD said all fourth graders will "participate in a robotics experience focused on computer science, conceptual thinking and 21st-century skills with science applications." The board specified that 100% of elementary students would have the immersion opportunity before entering middle school. In addition, students in sixth through eighth grades will have the chance of enrolling in a "semester long elective highlighting computer science, conceptional thinking and 21st-century skills with science and math applications," according to the MCSB website.
Superintendent John D. Millay said, "As part of our school district mission of educating all students for success, we must continue to look for opportunities to expose students to STEAM-related concepts." He continued that the district's involvement in the FIRST Robotics Competition had taught them how invaluable a robotics experience is for students afforded the opportunity. "We are excited about the opportunity students throughout Martin County School District will have to build their leadership and critical thinking skills while also exploring subject areas associated with our global economy and workforce," Millay said.
The website also reported more information on these innovative programs would be released to families over the coming months.