K-12 Leaders: On a Mission – FETC 2023 Roundup

We had the pleasure of speaking to Michael Bronder from K-12 Leaders while at FETC 2023. In this Roundup article, he describes speaking to companies while at the event that are focused on a mission and not just trying to sell. Michael goes on to say:

“At FETC this year, I was able to connect with a number of companies and non-profits who were clearly motivated by something greater than ‘collecting leads.”  These mission-driven organizations are interested in supporting educators, students, and parents with solutions that address some fundamental needs in the system. What was refreshing was that each of these organizations opened their conversations with their Mission, and only then got into details about their services or solutions that directly manifest those missions in meaningful ways.”

He sat down with Jason Innes, our Director of Curriculum and Product Development and says of the interaction:

“Robotics was well represented on the exhibit floor at FETC 2023. Many of the solutions focused on the “battle bot” model, and middle-school and older students. It was all very cool stuff, and focused on fun competitions, robotics clubs, and collaborative problem solving, but I only heard about closing the STEM participation gap from one solution provider.

KinderLab is focusing on much younger learners, and trying to blend creativity with an accessible (and durable) robotics kit designed to engage early-learners before any socialized behaviors begin to dissuade young girls from being interested in technical subjects. Their main product is KIBO, a screen-free robot that children use with wooden blocks to create a sequence of actions for the robot to take. The robot is designed to support coding education, computer science, engineering, and small group collaboration. KinderLab believes that young children learn better with concrete manipulatives rather than screens. The curriculum is designed to teach children to take responsibility for technology equipment, recognize their peers, and help others. The company also offers add-ons that give the robot additional capabilities and ways to interact with its surroundings. Kinderlab also offers a range of professional development options, including remote professional development, and 2 hours of live professional development with every classroom package they sell.”

Read the full article.