ABC CREATE L.E.A.D.S. Elementary Computer Science/STEAM | Professional Development:
BOTLUCKS: ROBOT POTLUCKS
There is another type of session being offered called Botlucks: Robot Potlucks! These are 2-hour, professional development workshops for teachers to gather together, in-person, to learn more about Micro:bits, Hummingbirds and/or Finch robots. Teachers can share ideas, ask questions, and build community around using coding and robotics in the classroom. Sessions will be held at Penn State New Kensington and at ARIN IU. In-person attendees will enjoy light refreshments.
- Free, 2-hour, in-person professional development
- All ABC CREATE and ARIN IU 28 teachers who attend will receive a $40/hour stipend
FAQ’s about our Robot Potlucks:
Q: I attended (or will be attending) a CodeJoy PD session. I’m stoked! How can get more?
A: Come to an ABC CREATE LEADS Robot Potluck!
Q: I didn’t attend any of the recent CodeJoy PD sessions. Can I still attend?
A: Yes, absolutely. Please do. Our Robot Potlucks are open to all ABC CREATE and ARIN educators. All grade levels. All experience levels.
Q: Do I have to make something to bring?
A: Only if it’s a robot creation you want to share or work on. This is a ROBOT Potluck! Our choice of the word Potluck here is meant to give you the freedom to choose what kind of robot or robot creation or robot idea or robot question you may want to bring. (Please do NOT bring any food to share at this ROBOT Potluck; Penn State doesn’t allow food potlucks at this time!)
Q: Will there be food?
A: Yep, we can’t afford to have hungry (or maybe even hangry) educators! We will have light refreshments to keep you going.
Q: Can I bring my own food?
A: Yep, you can. Whatever keeps your mind and body strong and able to focus.
Q: Do I have to bring a robot?
A: Nope. If you have one that you want to work with (maybe that you got as part of the CodeJoy PD), go ahead and bring it. If you have a creation that you’re working on or that you’d like to share, go ahead and bring it. If you have a question about anything robotics related, go ahead and bring it.
Q: What if I don’t have a robot, but I’d like to work with one.
A: No worries, we will have easy access to our ABC CREATE Resource Library, and we will have a variety of robots available for you to use during the Potluck.
Q: I want to attend to work with a robot that’s not a Hummingbird or a Finch or a Micro:bit? Is that okay?
A: Yes, absolutely. While we can’t promise that there will be someone in the room who will have experience with your robot choice, we do know that we will have some great minds in the room who will be willing to help you think through or problem solve or whatever you need to move your work forward.
Q: Does it matter which Robot Potluck location I choose?
A: Not really. Our goal is to help educators who are integrating robotics, computer science, engineering, computational thinking, STEAM into their classrooms to know that there are like-minded peers building community around their learning, their teaching, and their students’ learning. You may want to attend the session that may have educators from districts closest to your district … or maybe you want to go to the location that is closest to your home ... or maybe you will choose the location based on the date(s) that work(s) for you. Your call. We’ll be happy to have you.
Q: Did I hear there is a stipend for attending?
A: Yep, you got that right! If you are an educator in one of the ABC CREATE or ARIN IU school districts, there is stipend money available to pay you for your time at the Robot Potlucks.
Q: Who might be there?
A: Educators who want to learn and support STEAM integrations into classrooms - with an emphasis on robotics. We already have experienced educators planning to attend, and we expect to have educators from a range experience levels and grade levels and subject areas. There’s a chance of a visit from CodeJoy at some of the Potlucks, but no guarantees. 🤞🏻
Q: What will we do?
A: It’s pretty unstructured. You’ll do what you need/want to do to move your STEAM work forward. Maybe you’ll talk to other teachers who are using robots in their classrooms already – maybe look at some of their pictures from their projects and talk through how you might adapt to your own class. Maybe you’ll ask some specific questions about your robot or coding your robot. Maybe you’ll take the time to capture your thoughts/learning and draft a lesson plan. Maybe you’ll share what you’ve done or are thinking of doing with others to help them shape out their ideas.
Q: Will it be fun?
A: Well, while we can’t guarantee it, but we can tell you that when we did this last year, those who attended stayed beyond the end time because they WANTED to. (And they weren’t even getting any stipends!) We do aim for and fully support JOYFUL learning; that sounds like fun to me!
Q: How is this all possible?
A1: Since 2014, credit for supporting this building of community among like-minded STEAM educators goes to the Grable Foundation, Penn State New Kensington, and ABC CREATE districts.
A2: Funding for stipends (and some other stuff) comes through our PAsmart Advancing Grant (thanks to PDE) entitled ABC CREATE L.E.A.D.S.. We’re excited to welcome ARIN districts to join us as part of ABC CREATE L.E.A.D.S.
Q: Count me in. How do I register?