UKIT Implementation Strategies by Early Innovator Katie Galasso
With the goal to address inequities in STEM education by exposing more students to robotics, AI, and engineering, UBTECH Education created the Early Innovator grant program to help districts amplify their STEM initiatives and prepare all students to thrive in the careers of tomorrow. Since its launch in 2019, we’ve awarded over 300 UKIT Beginner […]
With the goal to address inequities in STEM education by exposing more students to robotics, AI, and engineering, UBTECH Education created the Early Innovator grant program to help districts amplify their STEM initiatives and prepare all students to thrive in the careers of tomorrow.
Since its launch in 2019, we’ve awarded over 300 UKIT Beginner and UKIT Intermediate robotics kits to 16 school sites across the United States. We connected with a few of our Early Innovator recipients to hear and share their experiences on implementing UKITs within their classrooms and districts. Each week we will feature an educator’s story of how UKITs have helped support their STEM initiatives.
This week’s spotlight is on Katie Galasso, a 7th Grade Science Teacher at New Brunswick Middle School (New Brunswick, NJ).
- Grades served: Grades 7
- Level of UKITs: UKIT Intermediate
- # of UKITs: 8
- Implementation scenario: Used to supplement activities in classroom
- Time spent per day/week using UKITS: 2-3 lessons per 15 lesson cycle
What challenges the class or school face in STEM prior to using UBTECH?
Our district has a strong NGSS-based curriculum that addresses the Science and Math part of STEM fully, but we’ve struggled with ways to integrate engineering and technology in ways that are both relevant and engaging for students while also fully aligning with the NGSS.
How does the implementation with UKITs support your STEM initiatives?
Using the UKITs enables me to integrate more technology and engineering into lessons and provide students the opportunity to take content knowledge and build on it in a way that develops their critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and technical skills.
Have you used the curriculum? What did you find useful?
Of the four developed units for the intermediate UKIT, Units 5 and 6 address standards that are taught at my grade level at my school. I am planning on implementing the lessons from Unit 6 when we learn about Newton’s Laws. What I find most helpful when going through the curriculum is how the three dimensions of the NGSS are highlighted in the corresponding colors (for SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs) which supports planning the lessons for my students and helps me ensure that the activities are standards-aligned.
What features of UKITs do you use and why?
I use the UKIT EDU app to guide students in building the robots, the UKIT materials for building, and I use the provided lessons in the curriculum. In the future, I want to design my own lessons to use with the UKITs. I’m envisioning a physics lab using the Catapult robot design from the app.
What learning outcomes have you seen with students using UKITs?
I see that students are excited to build the robots and enjoy the ease of following the directions from the UKIT EDU app to do so. I also see that students feel a sense of pride when they are able to get their code to work and their robot achieves the goal they set for it. However, I also see a lot of frustration in the early stages of coding for student who have no experience with it, and I think it would be beneficial if in the future UBTECH could also provide introductory coding lessons for students in their curriculum.
To learn more about our STEM robotics kits, visit the UKIT Intermediate page for details on the kits used in Katie’s class.
Find out how we can help you bring UKITs to your classroom or district!