UKIT Implementation Strategies by Early Innovator Maureen Smith
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 Maureen Smith, an Instructional Support Specialist for Science K-12 at Broome Tioga BOCES (Binghamton, NY).
- # of schools using UBTECH: 8
- Grades served: Grades 3-8
- Level of UKITs: UKIT Beginner; UKIT Intermediate
- # of UKITs: 15
- Implementation scenario: Used in core classroom; used in a before/after school program
What challenges the district or school face in STEM prior to using UBTECH?
Lack of materials to help connect the content areas plus the physical materials.
How does the implementation with UKITs support your STEM initiatives?
The alignment with NGSS supports the work that we are trying to implement, and is where we are finding the support and connection to build authentic connections to curriculum.
Was the curriculum an essential component of your implementation plan?
Yes, the curriculum is the main piece for our implementation plan. As many of our teachers are moving towards adopting the new standards for Science, having these curricular materials has been a great incentive for using the UKITs. Our hope is of course to continue to scale up their use and the trainings, but for now, we are happy to be focusing on small steps that heavily utilize and highlight the curriculum.
What makes your approach unique?
Our approach is unique in that we are implementing these through the BOCES system in New York during Regional Collaborations. This system already has been in place which gave us easy access to groups of teachers that are already collaborating and working together. Now, they are able to work together to implement the UKITs and the curriculum, as well as have a built in support system of each other and myself.
What learning outcomes have you seen with students using UKITs?
Students are very heavily engaged in the entire process when using the UKITs. Many of these students have only just begun the curriculum as the fall/early winter has been focused on rolling it out with our teachers, but we are already seeing that our students are learning a lot in regard to not just the building and operating of the robots, but in collaboration and group work.
Find out how we can help you bring UKITs to your classroom or district!