First Lego League and Google Grants

What a privilege to be a judge at the first Coffs Harbour regional First Lego League  (FLL) competition this week. The buzz in the room was palpable! Such excitement and enthusiasm from all the teams. Some were experienced, some there for their first competition, but all walking away with huge smiles.

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The 2018 challenge was Into Orbit and challenged students to find solutions to real-world problems in space.

Students didn’t just learn about coding, maths, science, space and robotics, they also learned about:

  • co-operation
  • teamwork
  • problem-solving
  • creative thinking
  • design thinking
  • perseverance 
  • trial and error
  • dealing with disappointment
  • presentation skills

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In addition to FLL’s trademark coopertition:

Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. (from https://firstaustralia.org/about-us/vision/)

the students are also marked on CORE VALUES:

  • Discovery
  • Innovation
  • Impact
  • Inclusion
  • Teamwork
  • Fun

As the emphasis is not just on the final challenge product, but the fun and learning along the way, students have a well-rounded experience, and all can achieve a level of success.

Google has grants for new teams from low SES, remote, rural and indigenous schools to supply a Lego EV3 Mindstorms kit and more to get involved int he competition, so consider applying for a grant for next year’s competition at https://firstaustralia.org/get-involved/grant-applications/

News coverage of the event from NBN News https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2018/11/20/coffs-qualifier-for-first-lego-league-hugely-popular-with-students/

 

 

Providing PD to regional teachers

I am proud to say that in 2016 I have provided Professional Development to many teachers and schools around NSW. In the last two months alone, I have worked in Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Broken Hill, Sydney, Wollongong and Tamworth, travelling over 4000km in the car in addition to flights. The appreciation from teachers in regional and remote areas has been overwhelming and I have enjoyed meeting teachers from all of these areas.

This map shows the names of the town/cities that I have presented courses in or provided in-school consultancy, and the red dots show where the teachers have come from. They have come from far and wide! One teacher even traveling 4 hours on a dirt road, knowing that she would be flooded in and not be able to return home for 2 weeks! Such dedication!

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Just some of the overwhelmingly positive feedback I have received:

“Bev’s exciting hands-on training day, ‘Coding  with iPads  K – 6’, has given me both the skills and confidence to work on Coding with my students. Teaching through a Distance Education environment has its own unique challenges but Bev was able to help find ways around these and my students are now enjoying learning to code.”   

“Hi Bev, So…my enthusiasm after attending your PL day has led my school into jumping in whole hog. We have ordered more iPads, multiple Bee-bots, Dash & Dots and Sphero’s with some accessories etc. all the apps are being blueprinted onto the iPads ready for the classes to start using next week … it looks like next year we are jumping into full swing coding mode and I’m sure I will need to pick your brain, we would also love to work on getting you out here again to work with us and the students. Just thought I’d tell you the exciting news!!”  

“I can’t fault anything about this session. The host was amazing and kept us all engaged and wasn’t trying to sell us a product but show and evaluate all the educational benefits of all the apps and technology.”

I thoroughly enjoyed today and I could learn as much as you had time to teach. I would definitely attend any future courses you may offer in my region in the future. Thankyou.  

It was brilliant and we are jumping into the deep end thanks to my confidence from this session – very keen to have you come and work with our students and teachers in the future.

 

 

While Coding and Robotics are particularly popular at the moment, teachers have also appreciated Music-specific courses and the Create Your Own iBooks course has had rave reviews. And the in-school consultancy allows me to target specific school needs.

Please contact me if you would like me to visit your school or area, as planning is underway for 2017.