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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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The Goddard Schools In York County, SC Pioneer Innovative Robotics Program

Rock Hill And Fort Mill Preschool Children Build Robots Through Collaboration And Playful Technology Education Program

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Goddard School® preschools in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC, focused on learning through play for children six weeks to six years, have pioneered a new way of teaching young children about technology via a robotics program that helps develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and 21st century skills. A playful and hands on way for the next generation to learn about technology, the robotics program is one of the first of its kind for preschool children.

Bill and Amy Strickland, the on-site owners of the two Goddard Schools in York County, created the robotics program to further their mission of teaching children vital STEM and 21st century skills, including the four Cs of learning and innovation: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity. The Goddard School preschools in Fort Mill and Rock Hill are the first adopters of the robotics program within The Goddard School system. As part of the robotics program, preschool children are exposed to rich project-based learning and collaboration all while budding their STEM, language, literacy and social studies skills.

"The curiosity for technology starts when children are very young," said Amy Strickland, on-site owner of The Goddard School located in Rock Hill, SC. "By keeping the learning fun, children stay actively engaged as they tackle the exciting world of creating and building robots."

While the robotics program runs year-round, the schools are hosting a number of activities and events taking place from April 7 – 11, coinciding with National Robotics Week. Now in its 5th year, National Robotics Week recognizes robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education.

Bill Strickland, on-site owner of The Goddard School located in Fort Mill, SC, adds, "Robotics is a great way to teach 21st Century Skills and we have enhanced our curriculum and teaching approach to support deeper learning through STEM and project-based education. National Robotics Week gives us an opportunity to showcase what 2 to 4 year olds can really accomplish if given a strong and supportive learning environment."

Please see below for a schedule of events happening during National Robotics Week at The Goddard School preschools located in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC:

  • Monday, April 7
    English Language Arts/Robotics – Children will read and engage with a series of age-appropriate literature, both fiction and non-fiction learning how to define a robot, its tasks, its components.
  • Tuesday, April 8   
    Art and Robotics – All children are invited to conceptualize robots, including components of robots as covered the previous day. Art will include painting, drawing, collages, group art as age appropriate.
  • Wednesday, April 9
    Engineering and Robotics – Children will build structures as outlined with ROK Blocks. Focus is on following directions. Teachers will challenge children to use blocks in a multitude of age appropriate ways.
  • Thursday, April 10
    Computer Science and Robotics – All children will be participating in the Hour of Code initiative on Code.org with programming and coding activities, including using "Kodables," one of many apps used at The Goddard School to reinforce critical thinking skills.
  • Friday, April 11
    The Complete Robot – Using LEGO® robotics, children will build one of several animated, programmable robots.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com. To learn more about National Robotics Week, please visit www.nationalroboticsweek.org.

About The Goddard School®

Learning for fun. Learning for life.®, The Goddard School celebrates 26 years of using the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children from six weeks to six years old have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. Talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. The Goddard School's AdvancED and Middle States-accredited F.L.EX.® Learning Program reaches more than 45,000 students in over 400 Goddard Schools in 35 states. The Goddard School's comprehensive play-based curriculum, developed with early childhood education experts, provides the best childhood preparation for social and academic success. To learn more about The Goddard School, please visit www.goddardschool.com.

About National Robotics Week

National Robotics Week is organized by an Advisory Council which recognizes robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education. Robotics is positioned to fuel a broad array of next-generation products and applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing, health-care, national defense and security, agriculture and transportation. At the same time, robotics is proving to be uniquely adept at enabling students of all ages to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and at inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Robotics Week is a week-long series of events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of "robo-technology" and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of the United States. To learn more about National Robotics Week, please visit www.nationalroboticsweek.org.

SOURCE The Goddard School

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