“When it comes to life in a Project Lead The Way Science classroom, I feel that it is my job as the teacher to instill a love for all things STEM”, Melissa Haney, Science Teacher at Explorer Elementary school. Mrs. Haney does just that, with the help of an innovative teacher grant, Haney was able to purchase additional Dash Coding Robots for her classroom bringing her total to 13 robots, which means that in almost every situation her students are at a 2:1 ratio of students to robots. “It is such a rewarding thing to see their eyes light up after they run a program with Dash and it was a complete success. Computer science and programming can be for everybody”, says Mrs. Haney.
Two years ago, Mrs. Haney decided to take her love of teaching coding to the next level by starting a Coding Club to expand hands-on coding to Explorer students. In coding club, students have made LEGO bulldozers, LEGO marker holders, catapults, dance challenges, and so many other creative challenges and tasks to engage and program their robots. Miles Klaassen-hall, a student in Mrs. Haney’s Coding Club said, “I love getting to spend extra time coding with friends and learning new things.”
Coding Club and the Dash Robots offer not only an inspiring outlet for upper elementary students at Explorer but the opportunity to share their knowledge and teach younger students through Mrs. Haney’s mentorship program. “Working with kindergarten students, sharing coding with them, and them being excited about it has been really fun”, said Lyric Hessen, Coding Club Student.
THINK IT. CODE IT. SHOW IT. A phrase used and celebrated each day in Mrs. Haney’s Science Classes, and through her innovation students are being educated for lifelong success. “She’s an amazing science teacher and very engaging, she makes us excited about science,” shared Lyric Hessen.
Thank you to The Goddard Education Foundation and generous supporters who make inspiring minds and expanding possibilities possible for ALL Goddard #265 students.
DASH into Coding
Melissa Haney, PLTW and STEM Teacher at Explorer Elementary School loves to see how her DASH robots spark so much curiosity in her students.
She said, “I believe incorporating robots into my classroom will give students opportunities that not all are able to receive. It will also impact them for the future, helping them to learn the basic foundation of coding and only excite them more into fields relating to STEM and coding. When it comes to being able to have items like robots in an elementary science classroom, I think the possibilities are endless. It takes the world of coding and applies it in a fun and exciting way. I had the privilege of doing coding as a classroom teacher and saw the impact it made on my students each year.”
The students can get the robots to find their way through a pencil maze, become a catapult and even dance. One of Melissa’s favorite things to see is when the more hesitant students shine as they are able to try the different “jobs” in the group and start to think outside the box.
Coding is a big part of the future, so why not start with young children and teach them how to code in a fun way!