Fifth and sixth grade B-P students learn “Robotics and Automation” through Project Lead The Way initiative

a young boy wearing a face mask works on a robot while giving the camera a thumbs upThis year, the topic of robotics is being taught to every single student in fifth and sixth grade at B-P Elementary School.The initiative is spearheaded by the district’s Project Lead The Way program with art teacher Jon Aery and PLTW teacher Beth Tomlinson pushing into each fifth and sixth grade homeroom to teach a unit on “Robotics and Automation.” Each homeroom will study the topic for one quarter of the school year. 

“Traditionally, robotics has been an extracurricular opportunity for our elementary students,” Aery said. “This year, we decided to make robotics a little more mainstream and provide our older students at BPES the opportunity to explore the topic. We’re hoping that some students will discover a passion that they might not have otherwise realized and that the experience can help influence their curriculum choices at the secondary level, and beyond.”

a blue and white logo shows the letters PLTW

Currently, students are working in teams to use VEX robotics kits to design and build a robot that can remove hazardous waste (represented by color blocks) from a playing field and use color sensors and a remote control to accomplish the task. Students have also worked in groups to create Toys from their Vex kits and created short commercials using iMovie. 

a small grey and black robot with wheels

two girls and a boy, all wearing face masks, sit on the floor with a robot that they programmed

three girls, all wearing facemasks, show off the robot that they created

“At the elementary level, the goal is always to build a strong foundation and prepare our students for their transition to junior high school,” BPES Principal Dan Casey said. “The hands-on project-based learning experiences students are exposed to in classes like PLTW are a great way for students to apply what they learn across all content areas.”

“Our Project Lead The Way team at BPES is made up of truly innovative thinkers and they all have such passion for the topics they teach. We are grateful for the dedication they show to sharing their knowledge with our students in such creative ways,” Casey added.

two girls wearing face masks work on creating a robot

two boys wearing face masks navigate a robot through a course using a remote control