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Saturday, June 04, 2016

Students, especially girls, benefit from using robots to learn math | Napa Valley Register

"American Canyon high school and middle school students have so enjoyed working with robotics that they sometimes don’t realize that they’re also learning mathematics in the process." continues Napa Valley Register.

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This kind of learning has delighted educators and parents, particularly with respect to young girls, who often struggle or lose interest in math and science once they reach middle school.

“What kid is not going to like playing with robotics,” said American Canyon Middle School Principal Dan Scudero. “They don’t always realize they’re learning math at the same time initially. Later on they realize, ‘Oh, I’m learning math,’ and having fun, which is what it should be.”

Scudero’s school originated the robotics program in American Canyon four years ago. There, math teacher Tammy Lee first introduced sixth graders to small modular robots called Linkbots in one of her classes.

The addition of robotics excited many students at ACMS, including sophomore Sara Jahangiri and freshman Katrina Cole, both of whom are now at American Canyon High School.

“It’s just a great experience,” said Jahangiri. “The main reason I do it is because of the team. I play sports but robotics is always a team I can depend on. We work well together, and we learn together.”

Cole said she enjoyed math before working with Linkbots, but also admitted the subject was challenging for her at times when she was younger.

But “when we were able to incorporate robots in it, it helped you pick up on the topics quicker” in math classes, she said.

Her mother, Melissa Cole, has seen nothing but good things come of her daughter’s participation in robotics.

“She has grown with it [the program],” said Melissa Cole outside ACHS teacher Scott Marsden’s classroom, where high school robotics has steadily grown the past two years.

When Katrina was in seventh grade and preparing to attend UC Davis’ C-STEM Day, a type of Super Bowl for Linkbot students, her mother remarked how good the activity was for her math skills.
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Source: Napa Valley Register 


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