FAQ: Professional Development

What feedback have participants in the STEM Robotics 101 PD Program Provided?

Over two-thirds of the STEM Robotics 101 Introductory Workshop participants have taken the time to provide written feedback. Their complete, unedited and unfiltered feedback is available here: STEM Robotics 101 professional development participant feedback.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about the STEM Robotics 101 PD program?

Please contact Terri Campbell at  FIRST® Washington at terric@firstwa.org

Who will be the instructor for the STEM Robotics 101 PD?

Randy Steele of R&D Consulting (R_Dconsulting@comcast.net) will be the instructor for the STEM Robotics 101 Introductory PD.  Randy has been a STEM Education Consultant and the CTE STEM Coach for the Olympia School District since 2010. He is the primary author and curator of the STEM Robotics 101 curriculum site.

Randy entered STEM education as an “empty-nest” career following two decades as a computer chip designer and engineering manager at Intel and ST Microelectronics.  He has coached/mentored several teams for FLL, FTC and FRC competitions and has trained hundreds of Washington teachers on STEM Robotics 101.

Randy has a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Management Sciences, a Washington State Residency Certificate in middle and high school math, and a Washington State CTE Certificate in STEM Technology, Computer Technology, Electronics and Engineering. Randy is also the inventor on 30 U.S. patents in the field of computer chip design.

What is the STEM Robotics 101 professional development program and the Computer Science Education Grant?

The STEM Robotics 101 professional development program is a two-day introductory workshop in which teachers learn how to build and program the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot and utilize/customize the rich set of Robotics 101 resources. Teachers work in pairs (just like their students) with the provided kits, robots and computers. Each teacher leaves equipped with software and the curriculum resources they need to customize a STEM robotics course to meet the needs of their students and goals of their administrators.

The Computer Science Education iGrant provided funding to launch the STEM Robotics 101 professional development program in the spring of 2016. Since then, over 35 two-day Robotics 101 Introductory workshops have been held at 15 sites statewide.

There are also several one-day advanced topics/coaching sessions for introductory professional development graduates, offered in partnership with educational service districts around the state.

The one-day advanced topics professional development includes Advanced LEGO® Programming, Robo-Math, Robo-Science, Data Logging, Technology-demystification lessons, Java Programming on LEGO® MINDSTORMS®, and FIRST® LEGO® Primers.

Professional development participants learn about the STEM Robotics 101 Lesson Bounty Program, which seeks to harvest the innovations of Washington teachers who too often are isolated in their own classroom. The Robotics 101 Lesson Bounty program seeks to harvest this creative work by providing a stipend for Washington CS/STEM teachers to take the time to document and share complete new lessons for STEM Robotics 101 which they have created for their own class.

What is STEM Robotics 101?

STEM Robotics 101 is a free CS/STEM curriculum for new Robotics teachers developed by the Olympia School District (OSD) and deployed worldwide with the help of two National Science Foundation Projects to more than 3,700 registered teacher-users. Robo101 enables teachers to customize an approachable CS/STEM curriculum that plays to their unique strengths, while also meeting the individual needs of their students and goals of their school administrators.

Based on the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kits, STEM Robotics 101 was featured at the NCCE conference in Seattle, and this Interview with the NCCE Blog team provides insight into the history and goals of Robo101.

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