[Newark, NJ] On Saturday, September 30, 2023 pre-kindergarten students from Mount Vernon Elementary School were greeted at the Newark School of Data Science & Information Technology for the Newark Board of Education's second installment of its Microchip Robotics program. This is part of the Before Kindergarten (B4K) Initiative, which connects pre-kindergarten students from elementary schools to their aligned high schools in order to begin building lasting relationships and provide them with the opportunity to participate in innovative activities.
As part of this collaboration, students will have many writing, mathematics, and fine motor skills opportunities. Microchip Robotics also allows pre-kindergarten students to start seeing how STEM exists around them using, in this case, using energy as the theme. Energy permeates all STEM fields and is vital in the real world.
Data and AP Computer Science Teacher and Robotics Coach Tim Salerno states, "Energy is all around them! I want them to start thinking about their relationship to energy and how energy moves through a system (in our case, food -> student -> Lego Machine), as this is a relationship their generation will be thinking about as climate change progresses. We all think about our relationship with energy production and consumption."
Upcoming sessions of the B4K Microchip Robotics program will be focused on Lego and mechanical energy, but also expand to electrical energy and simple circuits/electricity so students can see how energy comes in many forms.
"We are thrilled with the success of the Microchip Robotics program in inspiring our youngest learners to engage with STEM concepts," Superintendent Leὀn shared. "By introducing them to the importance of energy in our world, we empower them to think critically about their impact on the environment and make informed decisions for a brighter future."
About Newark Public Schools
The Newark Public Schools is the largest school district in New Jersey and dates back to 1676. The District currently enrolls over 39,000 students in 63 schools. After more than two decades of state operation and upon return to local control in 2018, the District has opened 9 new schools under Superintendent León’s leadership with an additional portfolio of new options to be announced in the coming months and years. The Newark Board of Education serves as a beacon of educational excellence, dedicated to nurturing the potential of every student. With a commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and fostering a love for learning, the District continues to shape future generations and make a positive impact within the community.