Casey Boothby, a teacher at Vallivue Middle School, has used PCS Edventures robotics curriculum in his classrooms over the past four years. He is currently teaching robotics as an elective for the second year in a row. Boothby said the robotics elective class “tends to fill up” because students get to choose the projects they work on. He explained, “The way I have it built is all student driven, so the students have a lot of ownership and pride about what they make in my class… they can choose something more complex to challenge themselves… It’s really cool to see them take that on!”
When asked about the incorporation of robotics in younger classrooms, Boothby said he believes that robotics is important to include and he hopes that robotics will soon be taught at the elementary school level. He said, “Our district is really trying to continue to implement STEM in the lower levels.” Robotics is growing at an unprecedented rate, along with many other STEM fields, which is why it is integral to get students inspired about potential careers. Boothby also said, “I think of all the data, it shows that we are teaching kids for jobs that don’t even exist for the next 15 years.” In addition to the coding and programming aspects of his class, which draw students to register, he likes to incorporate other skills like mechanical engineering, technical writing and more. Boothby’s class, “teaches [the students] life skills like problem solving and group work… this sets them up for success later on in life.”
What do Boothby’s students most like about his robotics classes? He said, “the robotics curriculum gives them the opportunity to design and adjust in a real life situation.” Additionally, the student-driven nature of his classroom allows for a “degree of freedom to think outside the box,” and other skills which he hopes translate into other areas of the students’ lives. During the time Boothby has used Edventures robotics in his classrooms, he explained that he has taught a variety of students with different needs. He has even used the robotics curriculum in special education settings; he explained “these kids work very well in this type of classroom setting because they are not sitting for the entire class. The freedom to move around, calms them and makes them more focused.” Robotics education has shown itself to be beneficial for students of all ages and needs.
As an experienced teacher, Casey Boothby said he would definitely continue to use Edventures robotics in his classrooms, and hopes to make another order for more material soon. When asked why he would recommend Edventures robotics products over other robotics curricula on the market Boothby replied, “First of all I have had an amazing experience! I feel like I can email them and I get a response back very quickly… having Edventures as a resource is awesome.” As Edventures continues to develop and improve products in their very own STEM after-school program plus the input of dozens of real life educators, Boothby also commented, “I feel like my opinion counts,” and “you can’t put a price on being able to work with Edventures at this point.”