Dr. Nora Garcia, 3rd grade teacher at Monte Vista, used the grant funds to purchased 10 mini-robots “ozobots” to teach coding and challenge and excite her students about science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math through exciting hands-on activities.
My project was a great success. Students were thoroughly engaged, on-task and focused. They moved from beginning coding, into intermediate and onto advance. The students moved from color coding with markers onto computer coding with ozoblockly. They worked supportably and cooperatively. Students quickly learned to manipulated the ozobot. The computer coding was a bit more challenging, though, since it is advanced but when one student was able to crack the code the rest followed. One of my students even invited his junior high and high school brothers. We also had a parent observer and her daughter taught her what she had learned. The mother was so impressed that she took out her cell phone and began filming. Even the special education students learned coding and experienced success.
Students especially enjoyed the noises such as police sirens. They stated that they made their ozobot dance. Students helped each other troubleshoot so that they could all experience success. It was definitely a self-esteem booster because all of the students experienced one hundred percent success. The girls were also fully engaged. This is important because as is reflected in research when girls get to junior high and high school girls tend to lose motivation and do not enroll in robotics classes.
This project is definitely reproducible and recommendable. I would unquestionably repeat it in the future. Already, I have been using the ozobots during Saturday school with grades K-5. During the summer I will also use them for with about ninety-five students in second and third grades. The results were even more positive than I expected.
Initially I assigned table groups but later students worked with their friends collaboratively. Girls did tend to conglomerate with each other and boys communed with each other but they still worked effectively. I wanted to keep their comfort level high and it was. I could see they adrenaline rush as students experienced success. Their endorphins were high as they worked happily. This was a wonderful opportunity for students that do not have computers nor internet at home. Family members were proud and amazed at their child or sibling. Students liked the black ozobot best although on the white one you could see the circuit board. There was one hundred percent attendance when students knew that we were going to work with ozobots. There was also one hundred percent engagement.