Computer Science and Robotics at Fall River Elementary

STEM School

Students at Fall River Elementary have several opportunities to learn about computer science and robotics.   Students can participate in a competitive VEX IQ program.  These students work in collaborative teams to accomplish tasks determined by VEX IQ in advance.  During tournaments, teams compete and form alliances to earn points, win awards and possibly advance to state and world tournaments. Students on the competitive robotics team meet at least twice a week and before or after school as needed.  Fall River students also have the opportunity to participate in an exploratory robotics class.  Students in this class are introduced to VEX IQ robotics, as well as other robotics toys and games. These opportunities are opened to students in intermediate grades. Fall River hosted its first VEX IQ Fox Rocks tournament in 2016!

Another opportunity for computer science and robotics at Fall River is to participate in a community school class.  Classes are offered in conjunction with the Innovation Center and include learning how to drag and drop program using Scratch Jr. and learning how to program Dot and Dash robotic toys.  These classes are opened to primary grades. Students meet approximately 4 times, depending on the subject matter and learn various commands and programming tips.  They then get to practice and revise their techniques using robotic toys. 

In addition, students are learning to write lines of code with Bitsbox.  All students who attend specials in the computer lab have been designing apps using this web-based tool.  Students learn commands like fill and stamp and then get to apply these skills and functions to an app they are guided to create.  Students learn both logic and syntax in this unique, child-friendly computer science atmosphere. 

Teachers, too, are learning about computer science and robotics! In addition to professional development offered at Fall River, teachers enroll in classes offered through the Office of Professional Development.  A Fall River teacher participated in a Cubelets class, and then wrote a grant to purchase more Cubelets for Fall River.  She recieved the grant, and will continue working with the STEM Coordinator and colleagues to develop more Cubelet lessons.