The Successful Transition Assistance for Robotics Students (STARS) will provide a replicable model for the importance of robotics education and transition programs for students. Management will be led by the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Educator Resource Center Program Manager, Todd Ensign who works on a contract through Fairmont State University. The goal of this grant is to implement robotics training at each of the 21 schools.
The project is divided into five components: engagement experiences, professional development, identification and transition planning, public school program coordination, and follow through/student tracking. These components were designed to work cooperatively to create a program that gives students the skills necessary to thrive in a technology-driven economy and education system. The first two components will aim to create the knowledge base required to sustain robotics as a curricular option in ODTP schools. The next two components
will aim to expand educational opportunities for students, encourage academic and personal growth, and reduce recidivism. The final component will be used to assess the success of the program.
Engagement Experience: Through a four-day workshop, students will learn the foundations to build and program a VEX IQ robot for the year’s competition. These workshops will be planned and implemented by the STARS robotics education specialists and supported by a combination of robotics educators who are contracted employees, and staff from the NASA IV&V ERC based on need.
Professional Development: Math, science, and technology teachers will be trained annually on the robotics platform and classroom integration techniques. This includes: 3 hours of hands-on training with Modkit for VEX IQ software and VEX IQ clawbot, one hour of classroom integration and management techniques, and one hour of curriculum and standards review.
Identification and Transition Planning: Annually up to 30 students who show an interest in continuing robotics will be selected to participate in the robotics transition program. During the students’ transition planning, the robotics education specialist will create a plan to involve students in a robotics competition.
Public School Program Coordination: 60 days after student transition, the robotics education specialist will spend two days in the student’s home school or community working with student and public school teachers to provide training and infrastructure to successfully compete in a robotics competition.