GRANTS IN ACTION: TECHNOLOGY + ENGINEERING

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seniors connect

Q: How has the SEF grant made a difference?

The SEF grant has enabled us to provide a valuable opportunity to this first group of seniors to LEARN and ADAPT to new technology that might otherwise be unavailable and that will provide direct and immediate benefits for them.  Along with the added enjoyment of developing a constructive and social relationship with a younger person, this model offers unique insight and connection from the student to enhance the learning opportunity.  The grant also carries the advantage of being perpetual as we will be able to continue the program after the initial piloting for future seniors, so the benefit will multiply and continue to work for more seniors and the Senior Center long term.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received from program participants?

We have some very excited seniors who are looking forward to beginning their directed use of iPad technology and are grateful for this opportunity.  Many have struggled with learning things on their own or have NOT been able to purchase and use any of the newer technology in order to develop an aptitude themselves or to have access to important information and benefits.

Q: What have you been able to do with help from SEF grant?

Complete a MAJOR purchase of electronic equipment that will serve the seniors and the Senior Center for several years as we promote the benefits of using this technology to our senior community and provide both seniors and their high school counterparts with the social benefits of a mentor-student relationship.

Linda Hayes
Council on Aging
Scituate, Massachusetts

 

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ozobots

Q: How has the SEF grant made a difference?

The SEF grant has enabled us to purchase a class set of Ozobots to share with the STEAM Collaborative of Scituate. With the new STEM/Tech program in the elementary schools, they have become a valuable tool. They can be used to teach math, science, ELA and other topics. The Ozobots have online lessons which you can choose to teach with paper or on a device using Ozoblockly. Lessons integrate math and science to move the robot, and language arts to draw, describe projects, and develop presentations.

We have used them to analyze problems and design algorithms to program robot actions, use logic, and develop reasoning using Blockly, a visual drag-and-drop coding tool. We focus on the Engineering aspects by line following, sensors, calibrating the robot, navigating mazes, and exploring engineering principles.

We have integrated some literature by reading stories to the younger students and then they mapped out the sequence of events by drawing an illustrated map for the Ozobot to follow.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received from program participants?

We have used the Ozobots from grades K-5 at all of the elementary schools in Scituate. The response is tremendous. The students are engaged and excited to learn with these robots. It is amazing to see students as young as kindergarten getting some coding experience with the Ozobots. Many students have asked where they can get one. I am sure it will be on quite a few holiday lists. When we asked the students their favorite part of STEM/Tech class this term, it was hands down the “Ozobot” experience.

Q: What have you been able to do with help from SEF grant?

We have been able to enhance a new elementary STEM/Tech program with the Ozobots as part of the program. We are trying to get the students excited about STEM and things like robotics and engineering. The SEF made this possible and it is exciting to see the elementary level students getting to experience this type of learning.

Liz Dorgan
Teacher, SPS
Scituate, Massachusetts