In less than two years, students from Alton Memorial Jr. High School’s (AMJH) after school robotics program have made a name for themselves not only in the region, but also at the national level when their team placed 10th at the National Science Bowl competition.
This success also caught the attention of officials at Lego, which is the robotics platform used by the school. Lego has invited teachers Robert Granados and Sammy Rivera to present at the annual Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) conference to be held in February 2015.
The pair also happens to be brothers. They said they are honored by the invitation to present and are now excited to represent Mission CISD at the conference. While they are looking forward to sharing with others at the state conference, they said they really want to take advantage of networking with other teachers in the state to learn more. They feel the opportunity is about everyone sharing their ideas and bringing them back to their own schools and students.
Some of the topics the Granados and Rivera plan to share include tools on working together with other content areas to incorporate them into the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) base; how they incorporate the state curriculum into what they do; and how programs like this can give students another way to be a part of something through the after school activity. The main focus is to help teachers who are new to robotics incorporate it into their classrooms.
In the meantime, the success of the robotics teams at AMJH is resulting in an increase in students who are becoming interested. Granados and Rivera said so many are interested that they are holding tryouts for the after-school program.
While STEM driven instruction and robotics grows at AMJH, Granados and Rivera said they have also been helping spread robotics at some of the elementary schools that feed into their school and are also supporting their students as they move on to high school.