In February, St. Vrain Valley’s special education department joined forces with the Innovation Center to host the district’s first Unified Robotics event paving the way for special education students to learn more about robotics.
Students and parents were introduced to four hands-on stations using VEX materials. Each station had different levels so students could go to the station where they felt most comfortable. One station had a VEX 123 robot where students pushed the buttons to make the robot go. There was also a VEX Go station where students had the opportunity to build a small robot and use an iPad to code the robot so it would move. The favorite station at the event was the VEX IQ driving station where students learned to drive a robot with a controller.
High School robotics students volunteered to help with each station. Additionally, they built a more complicated robot, so students and families could see what it’s like.
Alexandra Downing, competitive robotics manager, said the goal of the event was to help students see what robotics is about and find out if they want to do more with it. Downing hopes to hold future unified robotics events where they can continue to share and expand opportunities for special education students.
The district has been providing VEX robotics experiences for students since 2014. In addition to STEM learning, students learn science and engineering principles, as well as how to work collaboratively to engage and problem solve issues. Read more about the district’s robotics program here.