Key points:

Students don’t need one-to-one device access to learn robotics concepts

A playful and project-based approach to robots works best with younger students

See related article: Robotics plays a key role in early STEM education

As part of our educational outreach to the community, PBS Reno createdCuriosity Classroom for preschool through 4th-graders. The program, which is free to schools and districts, uses on-air, online, and print resources to help parents, caregivers, and childhood educators prepare children for success.

As we were researching trends in STEAM education to update our program, we noticed that robots were at the forefront, but most of the opportunities only existed for middle and high school students. Here’s how we’re bringing robots to younger students in rural communities.

Bringing robots to the underserved communities

Curiosity Classroom is active in seven counties in rural Nevada. Much of that area is very rural. One of the things that makes us proud of this program is the fact that we are able to bring this technology to students who don’t necessarily have a lot of opportunities to interact with something like a robot. And we don’t just bring one robot to show them and then give them each five minutes to play with it. Every student has their own robot to work with throughout the program.

No one is ever excluded for financial reasons, just as anyone can access PBS on-air programming free of charge. We serve kids wherever we can within our service area, regardless of whether they are in a public school, private school, charter school, parochial school, or even part of a homeschooling cooperative.