Grants In Action

February 2021

School: 8th Grade Center
Teacher: Natalie Bird, STEM, “Programming for the Future”

Natalie Bird is the 8th grade STEM teacher. Fall 2019, OEF awarded her class a grant to purchase 6 laptops for students to use when programming.

The laptops are used to program robots, drones, and practice learning computer languages such as python and java, skills that are needed as students’ progress towards STEM or Tech careers.

Students start the year with a programming intro using blocky and advance to python and java as the year goes on. The 6 laptops allow the students to divide into groups and download the appropriate software for the project. They are able to “talk” to the robots, drones, etc. that they already had but were not able to program with Chromebooks. With the laptops, students can create the input and then watch the results, giving them a better understanding of the concepts behind programming. They even make games.
The 8th Grade Center and Ms. Bird are very thankful to OEF for providing these laptops for an ongoing, learning experience for these STEM students.

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