Tuesday, November 26, 2013

All Eyes on EYE

Throughout the month of November the Educating Young Engineers (EYE) group has been working to gain funding to optimize the elementary engineering programs that we are establishing.

In early November we were asked by Kara Rosettie to give our “Why LEGO” presentation at the Dorothy Nolan HSA meeting. The presentation was a great success and the parents and teachers were very excited to be piloting the LEGO Club in their school. As a result of the presentation five hundred dollars was granted to the LEGO Club to purchase supplies. The LEGO Club will be staffed by Dorothy Nolan parents and Inventeam club members and we are enthusiastically anticipating the LEGO Club kick off day on December 4. 

Over at Geyser Road Elementary School Mr. Baldwins fourth grade class has started using the LEGO WeDo programming software. Unfortunately, every student in the classroom does not get ideal programming time due to our our shortage of laptop computers. For this reason we completed the Saratoga Foundation for Innovative Learning grant application and requested for a five thousand dollars so that we can purchase a cart of ten laptops for the students to learn programming on. Next year when elementary engineering becomes more widespread the computers can be used across the building for students to learn programming and design on. 

At Lake Avenue Elementary School we are preparing for the launch of the Project Lead the Way Elementary Pilot. There was an elementary engineering education teacher training day held on November 20. The teachers are very excited to begin engineering education in their classrooms. Now we are just working on scheduling in engineering time into the classroom schedules. Once the schedules are all set up we will be able to begin the pilot!

To supplement grant money and Inventeam funds, we have also been working on EYE fundraisers. Impressions of Saratoga has generously allowed us to sell laser cut ornaments and magnets in their store to help us gain funds. We hope that the funds that we raise from these ornaments will be enough to purchase the Inventeam t-shirts with the EYE Logo so that we all have a uniform shirt to wear at the major fundraiser that we are setting up. This main fundraiser is the Educating Young Engineers Saturday program! We will be hosting an engineering day at the Saratoga Springs High School for students in first through fifth grade. We are planning on having four fun engineering challenges for them to complete throughout the day! In the upcoming weeks we will work to plan this day and get students to sign up! As a start we have created an EYE website with the registration form for parents to sign up their children on and so that parents will be able to find out more about EYE. If you would like to visit our website you can click on the following link! (https://sites.google.com/site/educatingyoungengineers/

Overall, we have had a very busy and successful month and will continue working hard to make the elementary engineering programs have a positive impact on as many students as possible!