One of our school system’s biggest STEAM projects this year has been our three way international partnership with Korean educational robotics manufacturer Roborobo Inc, and the Career and Information Studies Department of the University of Georgia College of Education.  This partnership has also received invaluable support from UGA’s Research for the Advancement of Innovative Learning (RAIL) outreach unit.

Through this partnership, classes of fifth grade students in all eight of Barrow County’s elementary schools have been active participants in a research project to develop an affordable and effective STEM-Robotics curriculum that can simultaneously support student mastery of math and science content while developing their 21st Century Skills of  Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. Beyond the direct and immediate benefits being realized by our students involved in the project, the goal of the research team led by UGA Professor Ikeson Choi is to develop an entire elementary curriculum that can be utilized to bolster the educational systems of underdeveloped countries throughout the world.  While our students still have much more robotic building and programming experiences ahead, it looks as if the University’s goal of global impact may already be within reach.

In early March, Dr. Choi was able to meet with important decision makers of Haiti’s Ministry of National Education to help them plan a direction for education in Haiti that includes STEM and vocational education. He is in Haiti again this week (March 16 – 20) meeting with the top education official in Haiti, Nesmy Manigat, Minister of Education. The hope is that the robotics curriculum being developed in Barrow County Schools, in addition to other models,  might be put into place in Haiti to help the students with STEM and vocational education.

So far, meetings have been very successful, and it looks like with Dr Choi’s leadership, UGA and Barrow County will have a part in shaping the future of Haiti!

The promotional trailer video below features Barrow Students working through the robotics curriculum that their feedback is helping develop.  Images from the student journals unique to the curriculum being created can also be seen throughout the video.  This sneak peek was part of Dr. Choi’s first presentation to the education leaders in Haiti.