Empowering Minds

Lakeside Elementary’s Robotics Clubs Reach New Heights

The Birth of Robotics Clubs at Lakeside

Lakeside In the heart of Henrico County, Lakeside Elementary School has been at the forefront of innovative education, thanks to the vision of Monique Brown, the school’s Innovative Learning Coach. Six years ago, Mrs. Brown embarked on a transformative journey when her principal approached her with an Eagle Scout project proposed by a high school student. Little did she know that this encounter would lead to the establishment of a Robotics Club at Lakeside, setting the stage for a remarkable initiative in STEM education.

Enthusiastic about providing a unique opportunity for young learners, Mrs. Brown eagerly met with the high school student who introduced her to the captivating world of VEX Robotics. Since that pivotal moment, Lakeside Elementary has been a hub of creativity and innovation, hosting Robotics Clubs that aim to inspire 3rd to 5th-grade students to design, build, program, and drive their own robots. This authentic learning experience serves as a catalyst for developing problem-solving skills and critical thinking among participating students.

Expanding Horizons: A Grant-Funded Venture

This year marks a significant milestone for Mrs. Brown and Lakeside Elementary as the Robotics Club expands its reach beyond the school’s walls. Through a grant funded by the Henrico Education Foundation (HEF), Mrs. Brown was able to purchase six Robotics kits, extending the program to six additional schools in Henrico County including Longan Elementary School, Jackson Davis Elementary School, Longdale Elementary School, Baker Elementary School, and Ridge Elementary School.

Collaborative Learning Across Schools

Guided by Mrs. Brown’s expertise and support, Innovative Learning Coaches and students from Maggie Walker High School have joined forces to establish Robotics Clubs at the additional schools. Students at these institutions, showing a keen interest in robotics, now have the opportunity to collaboratively build and drive their robots. The program includes an exciting competition format where teams vie to earn the most points, fostering friendly rivalry and teamwork.

A Taste of Success

The impact of the expanded Robotics Clubs has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents have reported that their children eagerly anticipate Robotics Club meetings, showcasing the program’s ability to spark interest and engagement. The hands-on nature of the learning experience allows students to not only acquire technical skills but also instills a passion for problem-solving and collaboration.

Conclusion Mrs. Brown’s dedication to providing authentic learning experiences has not only impacted Lakeside Elementary but is now influencing a broader community fostering affordances for the budding engineers and innovators involved. Mrs. Brown’s journey from an Eagle Scout project to the expansion of Robotics Clubs across Henrico County exemplifies the power of passion and innovation in education. Lakeside Elementary’s commitment to providing students with opportunities to explore and excel in robotics is a testament to the transformative impact such programs can have on young minds. As the ripple effect of this initiative continues to spread, Lakeside Elementary stands as a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating the boundless potential of integrating robotics into elementary education.

Authorship Information

Nancy Wallace is an Innovative Learning Coach in Henrico County. She has been in education for 29 years with the previous five years as an Instructional Coach. She is passionate about integrating life ready skills into her lessons to equip students with the tools necessary for their future success. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

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