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UKIT Implementation: Juab School District

In 2019, Juab School District in central Utah applied and received a grant to be an Early Innovator with UBTECH Education. The Early Innovator program was UBTECH’s flagship grant program in which they donated UKITs to districts with the expectation of a two-year implementation.

Juab was one of 17 sites around the country that received UKITs and training. After a two-year entry commitment, Juab continues to be a champion for UBTECH. Here is a bit about their process.

Being an advocate for STEM education, Juab set high goals to reach more than 175 upper-elementary and middle school students across seven classes at three schools during their first year of implementation. To be successful, they anchored UKIT Intermediate and Beginner kits at an Innovation Center at a central school.

The Innovation Center was created for students to have flexible and extended learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom environment. The open floor plan enables classes to move freely through the space and set up the environment to meet the needs of whatever endeavor they are tackling. Teachers have the ability to rotate through the center on a weekly basis, which made it the right choice to plant the UKITs.

Teachers created a schedule to visit the Innovation Center (at least) once a week to engage with robotics and experiment with engineering design projects. The UKITs became the springboard for the district to use robotics as the gateway into STEM subjects. The ease of using the UKITs mixed with the collaborative learning environment made the implementation a win-win for all parties involved, especially the students.

Krystle Bassett, Innovation Specialist at Juab School District, shared,

“One thing that excites me is the accessibility of the UKIT. As a learner, I can work through a build at my own pace. It is both accessible and flexible, which makes it a great fit for students.”

To get a deeper perspective, UBTECH met with several students working with the UKITs. JaLeigh, Roxy, and Braxten are in the same sixth-grade class and have been building and programming robots together. The UKITs spoke to the students in different ways, reaching to each of them from different perspectives.

JaLeigh liked how the UKITs made hands-on problem-solving fun by being able to build robots in different ways. Roxy liked how the UKITs spoke to her future, “A lot of jobs in the future are going to have more technology.” And Braxten liked the collaborative nature of the kits and how he could problem solve together with his classmates.

Prior to the UKITs, many students had little to no experience working with robotics, STEM projects, or engineering problems. The UKITs help create the foundation for students to collaborate while solving real-world problems using robotics, which helps them develop stronger 21st-century skills.

To date, Juab continues to use the UKITs though the Innovation Center and plans to scale their implementation to meet the needs of more students. Juab has exceeded all expectations to be an example of a successful robotics program.

Learn more about why UKITs are the ideal robotics solution for classrooms, virtual learning environments, makerspaces, and other STEM programs.

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