CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A Cedar City elementary school's robotics program is becoming the epicenter of STEM education in the state.
Two separate partnership programs at North Elementary have earned recognition from the White House.
For the very first time Wednesday, North Elementary fifth graders program robots, programming software in a matter of minutes.
"It's cool that there are so many choices that you can use to make your robot do different things," 5th Grader Brenna Merryweather said.
From the hokey pokey to red-light, green-light, the students are doing more than just having fun. They're taking an applied approach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"It's fun; it can be done if you just keep trying," North Elementary Principal Raymond Whittier said.
A partnership with Birdbrain Technology brings these robots into the classroom, one for every two students in the lab.
At the same time, students have access to technology and curriculum from the new CREATE Lab satellite at Southern Utah University, thanks to quarter-million dollar grant and a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the Utah STEM Action Center.
"It's not just doing technology for technology's sake. It's integrating technology into English, or math, or theater or music or whatever. They'll actually be making little robotics projects, programming those robotics and then using those to learn other pieces of their curriculum," SUU Center For STEM Teaching and Learning Director Bill Heyborne said.
Once the robotic education gets it's footing here at North Elementary, organizers hope to take it to many other schools in southern Utah.
Utah Valley University has also been chosen as a satellite Utah CREATE Lab.
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