Boston has had 101.8 inches of snow this winter and, as I write, more snow is expected this afternoon. Ahhhh! I have to admit that there have been times that it has just seemed too overwhelming and I have paid neighborhood teenagers to help me dig out. 'Jonah' from across the street helped me during one of the storms. He and I chatted as we shoveled and, somehow, robotics came up as the snow fell around us making it seem like a somewhat impossible task to clean off cars and the path to the street. Tufts University is 5 minutes from where I live and it turns out that as a 4th grader, Jonah had actually participated in the same robotics program with Tufts University that our Captain Hunt and Robertson kiddos are currently enjoying. He had fond memories of Kibo (as the robots are called) and filled me in on all that he learned. What a light it was in the storm to think about how the Kibo will make an impression & become the foundation for our early learners as they grow into their dreams of being high school and college students and then, Engineers, Programmers, Mathematicians....
This month, Tufts University and the students will be back at Robertson and Captain Hunt. They will spend 3 days (March 16th, March 17th and March 19th) teaching our kiddos how to design and program the robots to not only follow simple commands, as Mrs. Annaldo demonstrated for us at the February Parent Meeting, but to even learn somewhat complex dances like the 'Salsa' & 'Chicken' dance. Thank you in advance for celebrating this experience by asking your child about it at home. Please note that there will be a 1/2 day of school on our Parent/Teacher conference day, March 18th. School will be held from 8:30am to 12:30pm. There will be no PM 1/2 day Preschool on that day. Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from 1:30 to 4pm and 5-7pm. As in November, you will receive a letter letting you know how to sign up for specific Parent/Teacher Conference times. Thank you in advance for scheduling your specific time with your child's teacher and then, helping us by being on time for your appointment as we are going to try our best to stay on schedule that day. At your child's Parent/Teacher Conference, please take the opportunity to ask your child's teacher about Kibo. (Although, some classes like Miss Leite and Mrs. Annaldo's Class have had their class vote to rename Kibo. Their robot is now named “Germaine Robertson.” :)
It is starting to snow again. Another 4-8 inches is predicted for this afternoon. Perhaps, the children will be able to program their Kibo to make snowmen? Anything is possible. :) It is a certainty, though, that our little ones are incredibly blessed to have this experience. A huge thank you to Dr. Stephanie Shephard from Brown University & Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers from Tufts University and as always, Dr. Gallo, for their collective support in gifting our students with this experience. #Robotlove #FutureEngineers #DreamBigDreamFierce
Beth Tanner, MS Ed