|Jacob Bagnell, Jeannine Fanning, Byron Giese, Robert Griffith, Shelly Lawson, Roger Little, Barbara McIntyre, Marc Morita, Michael Schenck, Mellisa Sill, James Snyder, Tom Sosnovec, Scot Tucker, Sharon Vizena, Ashley Watson and Evan Willig took part in a daylong Lego Smart training in Kelseyville, Calif., on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Photo courtesy of the Lake County Office of Education.|
KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – Are you Lego Smart? Sixteen teachers from Lake and Mendocino counties are.
They attended an all-day training on Saturday, Dec. 8, to learn about the Lego Mindstorm NXT system.
Thanks to the generosity of a SB70 grant from Mendocino College, the Lake County Office of Education Career Technical Education Department was able to purchase 24 robots, curriculum and software licenses to split between the two counties.
The kits will become a mobile lab that teachers who attended the free training can check out and utilize in their classrooms.
Teachers who attended the training are encouraged to teach other teachers so that they too may utilize the lab. All schools teaching grades 7-12 were encouraged to send a teacher.
Participating Lake County schools included Lucerne Elementary, Burns Valley Elementary, Lower Lake Elementary, Lower Lake High, Middletown Middle, Kelseyville High and Terrace Middle School.
The workshop was led by Lego Instructor Greg Intermaggio at the Lloyd P. Hance School in Kelseyville. Student volunteers Nate Falkenberg, Cord Falkenberg and Eduardo Alatorre were on hand to help the staff and serve as workshop participants.
Lego Mindstorms combines the versatility of the Lego building system with all-new technologies, an intelligent microcomputer brick and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software.
The Green City Challenge Kit is a step-by-step introduction to robotics in the classroom. Students are then challenged to apply their programming and problem-solving skills by making their robots solve real-world engineering challenges related to renewable energy.
The mobile labs can be used for middle and high schools and comes with a variety of curriculum tied to the California State Standards. It provides cross-curricular opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
Some Lake County students are already familiar with the robots.
Barbara MnIntyre from the Taylor Observatory volunteers as a coach for a county wide team of students who recently competed in a US First Lego League competition.
During the 2011-12 school year, Lower Lake Elementary teachers Jeannine Fanning and Sharon Vizena coached a group of 14 students, who went on to become the first Lake County participants in the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge, hosted by the Sonoma County Office of Education.
The team met on Fridays after school to develop an understanding of the Lego Mindstorm kits while refining their designing, building and programming skills.
The effort will continue in the 2012-13 school year with a team at Lower Lake Elementary and another at Burns Valley schools with plans for further expansion in the near future.
For more information about the mobile lab or the Lego Robotic competitions, contact Barbara McIntyre at 707-972-1905 or [email protected] .