How much fun can you have in school?  If you are in Casey’s class, you not only get to build a robot, you get to learn coding so you can program your “bot” to make music and dance to that music!  At the conclusion of the project, there was a tournament to determine who was the best!….Oh, yeah, one more “hitch-in-the-get-along”, there was a circle drawn on the floor and the bot had to stay inside that circle!

One of the many “perks” of being an EEF Board member is that we are invited to visit classrooms to see EEF funded projects in action!  I wasn’t there for the tournament, but a young man was showing us how his “bot” performed in the circle.  He did not know I was coming and had taken the wheels off his machine.  Grabbing 2 wheels very quickly, he came over to show us how the bot worked.  It did not stay in the circle and we quickly determined that the wheels were larger than the usual ones.   I asked if the bot could be re-programmed to fit the wheels.  The student and Teacher Vogel had a conversation I couldn’t follow, but the end result was that the student could change the coding to fit the wheel diameter.

In addition to building bots, if you were a student in Mrs. Vogel’s classroom, you could also participate in wood shop, 3-D printing and many other 21st century activities, which I can only marvel at!  Students were not only learning how to cope in the 21st century, they were learning some old fashioned skills as well…..collaboration, critical thinking, innovation (such as the student mentioned above), and applying creativity to their assignments.

The Escondido Education Foundation did not fund everything in Mrs. Vogel’s classroom, but we did fund the “Edison Robots” which was her latest amazing project for her students to participate and learn from.