Back Discovery Montessori School

This grant application is to purchase LEGO WeDo Kits, software and activity pack to bridge the gap bwtween Jr. First LEGO League (Jr. FLL) and First LEGO League (FLL). Few subjects cover such a rich diversity of skills, critical thinking and reasoning skills, and provide much excitement as Mindstorm Robotics. It's one thing to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), it's quite another to apply knowledge of computer programing to create structures that move, perform tasks, that is a direct response to student goals and objectives. However, gap exists between Jr. First Lego League (FLL), and the FLL curricula using Mindstorm EV3 Robotics. Using Lego Education WeDo Kits, Software, and Activity Pack will bridge this gap from Jr. FLL to FLL. LEGO WeDo Kits provide students with experiences in building and exploring LEGO models featuring theme-based activities in physics, simple machines, motors and sensors to program their models. This product is cross-curricular to develop not only skills in STEM but language, literacy and social studies. Students will become more engaged in STEM classes by actively being involved in the LEGO WeDo program, thereby improving overall academic achievement and behavior. The student-friendly kits are extremely intuitive and loaded with programming samples to get learners interested and excited about robotics. The experience in programming will enable the students to quickly learn programming of the Mindstorm EV3 Robot. This hands-on involvement parallels the 21st century skills of project based learning, as well as, building the best learning experience in a team-based environment.

1) How is your project innovative? (25 points) The LEGO Education WeDo kits are a hands-on solution for introducing key learning standards of physics (simple machines), engineering, and computer programing while building teamwork and communication skills through the use of computer based programming robots. Students must communicate to determine the specific duties of each student to create the LEGO structure and communitcate computer programming actions to reach a specific goal. Additionally, students will become mentors for younger students after the first year, again enhancing team building skills, communication skills, and mentoring skills. Students in traditional school classrooms do not typically experience such hands-on, critical thinking activities as the LEGO WeDo kits or the articulation with younger students, and thus will be an innovative program for our students.

2) How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points) The curriculum for our school includes mathematical reasoning, physics (simple machines, energy transfer, engineering process), communication skills, expository writing, and vocabulary development. Using the LEGO WeDo kits, allows a solution for students to build more advanced LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; program their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in STEM as well as language and literacy. Our curriculum will include participation in Jr. First LEGO League (Jr. FLL) and First LEGO League (FLL). This WeDo program will narrow the gap in programming and communicating to give a foundation for students to progress from Jr. FLL to FLL.

3) How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points). Implementing the LEGO WeDo Curricula as designed will utilize cooperative learning skills in student-designed projects. The curriculum provides new approaches and opportunities to learn in our changing community and technological world, optimizing building blocks for the best learning experience and will carry students on to higher level thinking and reasoning skills in mathematics, technology, and language arts. This program will ultimately provide students with higher achievement throughout their school years, increase student achievement overall for the school, and have a long lasting change in parent involvement.

4) How will technology be utilized? (20 points) Computer basic skills will be taught to students such as being able to sign-on to the computer, manipulate through various programs, add and use external technology, and develop computer language vocabulary. Implementation of LEGO WeDo Kits curricula requires a computer with fun drag-and-drop software. The new experience will build school and student readiness for computer-based programming, especially in FLL's Mindstorm Robotics

5) What evidence will you collect to show student gain? (10 points) A pre and post survey will be administered to third graders moving from Jr. FLL to FLL to evaluate student knowledge and skills, attitudes, and ease of bridging the gap between the FLL Curricula after their use of LEGO WeDo kits.

6) How will participants share your project results with the community? (15 points) The rising 3rd graders will in turn facilitate the use of the LEGO WeDo kits to rising 2nd graders. Jr. FLL team members will exhibit their LEGO WeDo projects that include simple machines and motors at a Jr. FLL exposition to students, parents, and teachers of our home school and other schools. The activity books allow freedom to create other robots. Students will then present their new creations to the public at the expositions. This valuable opportunity will allow students to feel accomplished in personal design and programming, along with confidence in communicating their creations to others.