It is truly wonderful that so many people in our community value education and are willing to help projects like this take place.  Casey Wright, Fourth Grade Teacher, USD 348

Our school district is graced with passionate and inspirational teachers who rise above and beyond on a daily basis to educate our children keeping pace with skills required for 21st century careers. Fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Casey Wright, is one of these teachers. This fall, Mrs. Wright’s goal was to enable her 22 students opportunity to learn coding. As she explains,

All of our students want to learn how to code. By giving our students the opportunity to work on individual coding projects, we give them more latitude at trial and error and quick turn around for problem solving their mistakes. It has been estimated that 80% of the jobs in the future will be technology based. By helping to fund this project, donors are helping students build a solid foundation of computer technology education.

This fall, Mrs. Wright was awarded two grants. The first grant provided by the Baldwin Education Foundation  allowed the purchase of five Sphero robots for her classroom. She quickly realized,

after a few lessons with coding, I quickly learned that it would be very beneficial for the students to have 1:1 access to the robots in the classroom. My hope is that the students will build a wonderful foundation of computing knowledge and their interest and excitement will spread into other classrooms. Currently, our technology teacher is teaching basic coding with students, we are extending the learning by using Sphero Robots to see how our coding can solve problems. It would be wonderful if this could become bigger!

With this goal in mind, Mrs. Wright applied for and received donations through a Donor’s Choose Grant Project that provided 17 additional Sphero robots to her classroom. Donations for Mrs. Wright’s project were received from: Mike and Val Bosch, Ken Wagner, Kathy Dorsey, parents and a few anonymous donors. Brad Smith was very helpful raising awareness about this process and the Bosch’s will be coming to Mrs. Wright’s classroom to do a Q & A with the kids about their projects and to help them build connection with why it’s important to learn these skills and how this knowledge will translate into future success.

As for the future, Mrs. Wright is seeking donations to purchase charging stations for the robots. If you would like to learn more about the program and/or provide funding for her project, please contact Mrs. Wright at caseywright@usd348.com.