Ivy Tech’s STEM mobile lab allows students to learn technology at a young age | News

ANDERSON – One of the standards of the curriculum for elementary students in Indiana is computer science. To help them learn not only computer science but also other standards of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Anderson Public Schools have adopted the Project Lead the Way course work.

According to Andrea Meadows, an e-learning instructor with ACS, the district began testing PLTW coursework in certain classrooms before the pandemic, which now involves all K-6 class teachers.

“We’ve been doing it (PLTW) in high school and high school already so we can just stretch it down and keep doing what we were doing,” he said.

Every nine weeks, students take a STEM class. Meadows said each lesson offers three hands-on activities that help students solve problems.

“Each of them has a theme, like third grade weather and flight and so on,” he said, noting that each class has a different theme and criteria.

To improve classroom learning, Meadows appeals to a variety of community partners to offer out-of-classroom experiences.

Currently, the STEM mobile lab of Ivy Tech Community College is going to all ACS elementary classes to offer students practical activities related to their course.

In the STEM mobile lab, students demonstrate a wide range of topics, including electricity, robotics, and programming, and then participate in an activity.

One demonstration in which students participate is an attempt to retrieve small objects using a robotic grip.

Meadows noted that the STEM mobile lab also allows students to access technology they would otherwise not have.

In the future, Eloca Agweegbo, a member of the Faculty of Information Technology and Coordinator of the STEM Mobile Laboratory at Ivy Tech, hopes to expand this operation by training teachers on the use of technology in the mobile laboratory.

Since she runs a mobile lab and holds teaching positions at the college, she hopes school teacher training can increase the number of students who practice the lab.

“Everyone can do what I do, but maybe they don’t have the equipment,” he said, although no decision has been made on his idea.

According to Agwegbo, Ivy Tech wants to invest in young people so that they are aware of these types of professions before they reach high school.

“Exposing them to coding and all this (things) at a young age (can) make this interesting.”

Terry Adamson, another Ivy Tech instructor who helps in the STEM mobile lab, elaborated on Agwegbo’s ideas and said young people need more technology.

“Our kids know everything about technology, even though they have Gameboy on hand,” he said.

Adamson noted that the mobile unit will help students advance their knowledge after the pandemic, where study has been hampered for most students.

Meadows is impressed with the work the mobile lab has done and hopes to continue this partnership. She also hopes that ACS can develop more community partners to help students with these types of learning experiences.

Follow Kylie Mullikin on Twitter @kyleemullikinhb or call 765-640-4250.

Leave a Comment