Best Buy has really been supporting our Stittsville schools this year. Over at Frederick Banting Alternate School, the Best Buy Canada School Tech Grant program awards were handed out to 13 high schools across Canada earlier this year. Banting was successful in receiving a $3,000+ General Tech Grant that enabled the 16-19 year old students to develop apps, build their robots and run the apps on a tablet. Stittsville Central has been following the progression of the robots from arrival at the school to the completed products and today was the unveiling.
Banting used the grant money to purchase a portable makerspace (carts on wheels that hold various coding and robotics kits). This makerspace moves from classroom to classroom to help students develop team-building skills and camaraderie while introducing them to new activities and potential careers after post-secondary school. You should see what the students have developed with the grant money — pretty incredible!
Jo-Anne Schroeder, the teacher overseeing the program, noted that, “Students are welcome to come and take a robot and start exploring anytime they like (and with teacher permission)”. We watched an Ozobot in action as it travelled a map of Stittsville Main Street obeying all of the coded commands the students had programmed onto the map and into their app – stopping at lights, picking up a coffee, spinning its direction to return to the school – pretty neat stuff!
Jo-Anne went on to point out “… the most versatile of the robots was the logic bred, lights flashing, Microbit.” It is a micro and acutely smart.
The tech grants are designed to help improve or integrate technology in classrooms to advance student learning. This could include new technologies including libraries, special needs classrooms, literacy programs and more. This grant money also gives students access to the latest in computer and digital technology to help keep them motivated and focused.
Frederick Banting clearly illustrates creative teaching methods and ways to incorporate technology into its classrooms thanks to the leadership of teachers like Jo-Anne Schroeder.
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