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Kingston school introduces innovative robotics program

Written on September 9th, 2009

Evidence of school’s forward thinking a draw for families, says principal

More than just humans may be roaming the halls of Kingston Christian School (KCS).

Through the international program First LEGO League, the school’s Grade 7 and 8 students will be tackling real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks.

The hope is that the program will nurture a passion for science and technology among the students.

Sue Libitz, an active volunteer and parent at KCS, has been instrumental in bringing the program into the school and says she’s excited about its potential on a number of fronts.

In addition to the opportunity students have to work with cutting-edge technology, the program is also exciting in that it involves connecting with other First LEGO League teams in the Kingston region, says Libitz.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for shared learning and the building of community not just within the school but in the community of learners throughout the region,” she notes, adding the school has been matched with a mentor team, which has been very welcoming and supportive.

Students are required to work as a team to develop solutions to real-world challenges, which is also a positive feature of the program, according to Libitz and KCS principal Karl Reid.

“First LEGO League really promotes that this is not something that any one person can tackle on their own and be successful, they really do have to work as a team to see successes and for it to be a positive experience,” says Libitz.

The robotics program is also a way to celebrate the ideas of the students, she says.

“When you see the different robots and ideas the students come up with I think it really shows the diversity of ideas and that there’s no one solution to any given problem,” she notes.

KCS is participating in the First LEGO League robotics program geared for 9-14 year olds. The school also has an opportunity to take part in the league’s international competition.

Reid says offering the program demonstrates that KCS is forward thinking, which can be a draw for families.

“I think by being open to this kind of program we are showing prospective and present parents that we want to move forward with what’s happening out there,” he says.

To learn more about First Lego League, see www.usfirst.org.