Robotics is a field that incorporates creativity and fun, making it ideal for teaching students STEM and real-world skills.  In fact, ASEE has found that one of the top motivation factors for engagement in robotics is enjoyment.

Fun is important every year and this year is no exception.

This year has been hard for all of us and the school and club environments that often steward engaging, hands-on STEM programs are no exception. The activities that elicit shouts of joy and a sense of self-confidence are more difficult and more expensive to do.  As classrooms and after-school activities re-open, time and resources are being directed to much needed health and safety implementation, often leaving less for extracurricular activities, especially in underserved communities.

Students deserve to enjoy learning.

As an education-focused nonprofit organization, RoboNation aims to reduce traditional barriers to participation in robotics programs. Through programs such as SeaPerch, we promote opportunities to engage students and educators in inquiry-based learning with real-world applications. One of these barriers is the funding to acquire the materials and equipment necessary for a build.

Help us reboot giving. We can do hard things.

Last week we launched a campaign to reboot our giving program.  This Build a Bot program is meant to provide educators and student groups with the resources necessary to develop hands-on skills, build a robot, and learn how to use it for good.  In a lot of ways, this new awards program is taking the SeaPerch program back to its roots.

Click here to read the launch email. (Sent on December 16, 2020)

In the early years of SeaPerch, we were fortunate to have generous support to seed new programs and evolve existing ones.  Keep reading to learn more about the recipients of this seed support’s experience and why SeaPerch was a good fit in their community.

Engineering Club at Pasco Middle School in Dade City, Florida: “I have seen this program implemented successfully at one of my previous schools. I have had the pleasure of observing the attention, curiosity, and excitement of students as they see their ROVs perform. My school has many challenges – 80% of kids on free lunch and over 50% are racial/ethnic minorities. My desire is to use this kind of hands-on technology to attract students to the club who might otherwise not take the initiative to enroll.”

Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary in Alaska:Island living is difficult and while our students here in Sitka have multiple educational opportunities provided to them throughout the community there is limited access to robotics and engineering materials and curriculum. SeaPerch is everything a teacher could want to implement into their curriculum and classroom. It provides all students, students from different backgrounds, an opportunity to experience something that might otherwise never be offered until later in their educational careers. It can create a spark within a student early so that he or she may develop a love for math and engineering and choose classes, books, experiences accordingly. Thank you for the opportunity and providing students with the opportunity to learn first-hand what it is like to create something out of nothing!”

Thanks in big part to this past support, the SeaPerch program and community has grown and evolved significantly over the last decade. Our robust community now includes friends, colleagues and peers from all 50 U.S. states and over 35 countries. Due to the program’s flexibility, SeaPerch can be found in schools ranging from elementary school through university, community clubs, personal homes, as well as local waterways.

Let’s start 2021 strong.

It’s our turn to give back to those groups who have brought so much to our community. Through the Build a Bot program we will award recipients with needs-based materials, training support, and connection to a broad community of advocates engaged in SeaPerch.

Our primary goal with this program is to reduce barriers to participation and to promote avenues for educators, mentors and students to get involved in hands-on STEM projects. The most exciting part is that each recipient will determine how the program will fit best in their community.

Your donation will help meet our goal of $10,000 to jumpstart the awards program for the Fall of 2021. Together, we can put bots (and joy) in the hands of students and schools in need.

About RoboNation

RoboNation is a 501c3, non-profit (EIN: 52-1797483) whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges. SeaPerch is a cornerstone of RoboNation and often the beginning of a journey into robotics. www.robonation.org/give

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