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CIC donates robotics equipment


SHREVEPORT — Representatives from the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the Committee of One Hundred, Caddo Parish Schools, and Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center (Sci-Port) distributed robotics kits to more than a dozen Caddo Parish schools on Thursday, August 29, 2013. The new robotics kits will be used to engage students in project-driven learning and enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs across Caddo Parish. This collaborative effort was made possible through a grant from the Committee of One Hundred.

“Caddo Parish Schools appreciates NICERC, the Committee of One Hundred, and Sci-Port for recognizing the need for more technology in our schools and for providing the necessary training for our teachers. This equipment will benefit so many students for years to come,” said Jan Graff, K-12 Science Supervisor of Caddo Parish Schools.

Schools receiving the LEGO® NXT robotics kits will participate in the 2013-2014 Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) competitions offered through NICERC. This year’s RARC will consist of three competitions throughout the academic school year and will provide a wonderful opportunity for students to apply what they learn in the classroom.

In order to prepare for RARC and become better acquainted with their robotics kits, elementary and middle school teachers participating in the program will be able to attend a robotics professional development workshop offered by Sci-Port in October. Sci-Port will also host two Beginner Robotics Workshops at no cost in January and April 2014 for any teachers who are unable to attend the October workshop.

“We greatly appreciate the Committee of One Hundred’s commitment to STEM education and the collaboration among all involved to make this opportunity a reality. Supplying the robotics kits will give teachers another effective way to engage their students in hands-on STEM learning, not to mention the students can now take part in our RARC challenges. Through competitions like RARC, students will be able to build upon their STEM foundation as well as learn about programming, problem-solving, and team-work,” explained Paul Spivey, Deputy Director of NICERC.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.