Bringing Playful STEAM Learning to Homeless Children

This KIBO use study comes from Horizons for Homeless Children located in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Horizons for Homeless Children is the Commonwealth’s leading organization devoted to serving homeless children, focusing on helping young children mitigate the trauma and stress associated with homelessness.

Building, Coding, Creating, and Exploring with KIBO

Through a partnership with Dr. Marina Bers, our co-founder, and the director of Boston College’s DevTech Research Group, and KinderLab Robotics, Horizons for Homeless Children has brought the screen-free KIBO robotic learning kits into their center to provide their young learners with access to STEM technology. Coding and computer science is a new literacy for the 21st century and supports young learners in developing new ways of thinking about themselves and the world. Young children living in poverty or experiencing homelessness can benefit from this early introduction of science and technology.

Horizons for Homeless Children with KIBO

Horizons for Homeless Children’s CEO, Kate Barrand, says “Changing the trajectory of children’s lives begins with building dreams and opening children’s minds to opportunities they may not see in their immediate surroundings. Children living in poverty can dream about a career as an astronaut, computer programmer, scientist or inventor when they experience engaging STEM curriculum in school.”

For more than a year, KIBO has been a part of the curriculum at Horizons for Homeless Children. The fun and creative hands-on robotic learning kit that introduces coding, now resides in their Hawk Foundation STEM lab where children develop their STEM learning, problem solving skills, collaboration, and playful exploration.

One teacher stated, “Children who typically would not work with peers and would rather work solo, changed while playing with KIBO. They began to express how they wanted to work together, and they began solving problems together.

Findings – Proven Success of Playful STEM Learning

With KIBO and their STEM curriculum, Horizons for Homeless Children are seeing skill growth amongst students and teachers. Click here to read more about this program’s success. The DevTech Research Group has studied the impact of their young learners and their educators using KIBO.

For teachers, their findings showed a 47% increase in their self-reported understanding of the curriculum and confidence in facilitating its implementation in the classroom. The curriculum brought coding and robotics to students using storytelling, literacy, and music.

Horizons for Homeless Children Teacher Findings Image

Students were tested at the beginning and then at the end of the curriculum and results showed that, for many students, their knowledge of coding increased. According to the research report, after participating in the curriculum, 48% of the 35 students stayed in the Pre-Coding stage, but 52% students improved one or two stages, with half of those students moving to the Emergent stage and the other half moving to the Coding and Decoding stage.

Horizons for Homeless Children Students Findings Image

Download the Case Study

Download the Horizons of Homeless Children’s Use Study, Building, Coding, Creating, and Exploring with KIBO, as well as the DevTech Research Group’s research findings, to learn more about this program’s success.

Meet KIBO, the Screen-free Educational STEAM Robot

KIBO, the learning robot designed specifically for elementary-aged kids, offers an inviting, engaging platform for young children to start their journey into creating with code in a fun and creative way. KIBO’s block-based coding language gives children control over the robot’s movements, sounds, and sensors, allowing them to express their imaginations with code. The KIBO curriculum for educators also teaches children to tell stories, create characters, and explore the world around them through code. KIBO is the number one choice in screen-free coding for kids – trusted by more parents and schools to introduce today’s youth to the wonders of technology and robotics.

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