With generous funding from the Fulbright Global Teacher Grants program, Urgench State University in Uzbekistan has started a robotics club for local middle and high school students. STEM4Learning trainers Allan and Joan Miller traveled to Urgench in May to provide training for students in the university's computer science program who will be serving as leaders/mentors for the afterschool club. Grant funds allowed us to purchase 40 Edison robots as well as supplemental materials that will be used for various learning activities with the robots. The highlight of our week was our first actual session with the middle and high school students.
We packed 35 students along with a dozen university students into the computer lab on a hot, sticky afternoon, and things got even hotter once the place was hopping with the activity of kids learning that with simple block coding from edscratchapp.com they could easily get these robots to do what they wanted to do. The plan is for the club to meet regularly starting in the fall when school is back in session. A real bonus was seeing the excitement of the university students. For many, it was also their first time working with physical coding - using their algorithmic thinking to make something actually move. Seems like the robots will be getting double duty in the fall since the Professors involved with
helping get the project off the ground were already talking about where they could fit into their university curriculum.