Programming students for the future

STEM Robots

Students create code to instruct a robot


In November, at five different locations around Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Charter Academy middle school and high school students had the opportunity to simulate the work of programmers, engineers, and designers by formulating their own code to instruct a robot to draw snowflakes on paper. With the help of Birdbrain Technologies (Pittsburgh company that loaned CCA the robots), 5-12 grade students were able to arm Finch Robots with a marker and program them to illustrate the creative code design into an ink crystal work of art.

“Coding and computer programming should be an integral part of school curriculum, especially at the middle school level” said Kurt Amen, the STEM Conservatory Manager at Commonwealth Charter Academy, a statewide cyber charter school.

Amen referenced a recent article published in US News focusing on research that shows the importance of female students becoming engaged at the middle school level. The research done by Accenture and Girls Who Code reveals that computer science majors for women have dropped, and women are projected to only hold 20 percent of computing jobs by 2025.

“Introducing students - boys and girls - to the future is the path of generating a career-ready workforce” said Amen. “If our students want to innovate, they need to be able to program the new technology they create.”

This was the second year CCA partnered with Birdbrain Technologies, as a way to educate students on the skill and creativity involved with coding. 

View coverage from the Philadelphia event provided by CBS3

Posted in News Release
Tagged with stem, conservatory