Meet the Ambassador – Kristy Schneider
The UBTECH Education Teacher Ambassador Program is comprised of passionate and community-driven educators committed to helping shape the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow. Ambassadors share our vision of creating a generation of kids who are excited and curious about STEM topics, knowledgeable working with robotics, coding, and artificial intelligence, and are prepared to enter a […]
The UBTECH Education Teacher Ambassador Program is comprised of passionate and community-driven educators committed to helping shape the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow. Ambassadors share our vision of creating a generation of kids who are excited and curious about STEM topics, knowledgeable working with robotics, coding, and artificial intelligence, and are prepared to enter a workforce increasingly in need of 21st-century skills.
Get to know our ambassadors in the coming weeks as we share their stories of what inspired them to get involved in teaching robotics and STEM.
This week’s profile features Kristy Schneider, Teacher at La Center Middle School (La Center, WA).
How did you first become exposed to robotics or STEM?
When I first came to my current school district there was a technology grant that no one wanted to participate in but I was thrilled to be a part of. I was the first teacher in our school to receive desktop computers, a SmartBoard, a teacher laptop, document camera, and tons of software and training. As part of the grant I also started using NXT robotics.
What is your favorite thing about teaching robotics or STEM?
I enjoy the hands-on aspect of robotics and that students are able to create their own projects using current technologies. I love the problem solving and creativity that evolves as students work through challenges.
How do you see robotics and STEM evolving over the next 5, 10, and 20 years?
Since students are learning to code at younger ages, I think that we will see more students proficient in coding. In the next few years I believe that we will have more drone technology and more AI taught in the classroom. I do feel, especially after Covid, that students will still need to physically build and create the robotics but it will be more advanced as students become adept at working together and solving problems.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I had an amazing biology/zoology professor that made science engaging and believed in field work. He hooked me into science and I ended up being a science teacher before I ever became a technology teacher.
What do you think has changed the most about teaching since you first started compared to where you are in your teaching career now?
I would have to say the introduction of technology and WWW. When I first started teaching students didn’t even have access to computers and, well, neither did I.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a result of teaching?
It’s hard to narrow experiences down to only one but I have to say that being a teacher has given me opportunities like participating at NASA AMES for several weeks, traveling to Europe on a grant, going on dinosaur digs, being a part of technology grants and being able to enthusiastically share all my experiences with students has to be at the top.
What advice would you give to those interested in pursuing teaching?
Teaching can be intense but there isn’t a job that is more rewarding out there.
Find Kristy on LinkedIn.
To learn more about our Teacher Ambassador Program, visit the TAP page. Ambassadors work closely with the UBTECH Education team to test and develop curriculum activities using our UKITs. If you’re interested in bringing UKITs to your class or district, we’d love to chat.