District Administration: High schoolers teach robotics to pre-K students

In Miami-Dade County School Districts’ Hialeah Gardens High School, their students are studying to become childcare professionals. Part of their studies are for those students to teach preschool kids within their child care center.

They use KIBO robots to teach preschool coding to the preschool kids. With KIBO, they don’t have to use any screen time when introducing preschool coding and robotics.

The article reads in part:

“It’s a two for one,” says Cristian Carranza, the district’s executive STEM director. “The high school students are learning coding and programming, and they’re teaching pre-K kids who can then enter our robotics pathways in kindergarten.”

During the year the high schoolers guided the preschool coding students in arranging KinderLab Robotics’ wooden KIBO blocks printed with QR codes for a robot to scan.

The codes directed the robot through a series of actions; if the robot didn’t perform the expected tasks, the students rearranged the blocks. Then, they could come up with more complex instructions.

“It allows the preschool kids to see that the person in control is the programmer; it’s not magic,” Carranza says.

The preschool coding pilot, which took place at Coral Gables, Hialeah Gardens, John A. Ferguson and South Dade senior high schools, allowed the students in the early childhood academies to pick up a marketable skill that they may not have anticipated.

Miami-Dade County students studying to become early-childhood educators and child-care providers got expected training in robotics and coding.

“Many of the older students went into the early childhood education academy not necessarily expecting to do programming,” Carranza says.

Another benefit of the preschool coding program: Many of the preschoolers at the childcare centers were the children of Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers.

“We’re helping our teachers’ kids get a leg up on programming even before they start public education,” he says.

Read the full article.

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