Autauga County Schools teachers trained in robotics

Teachers at the elementary and middle school levels learned how to build and program robots.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 10:28 PM CDT
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Hyundai is investing more than $114,000 into Autauga County Schools to bring robotics to students.

This week, teachers at the elementary and middle school levels learned how to build and program a robot to teach students in the future.

In addition to studying traditional writing, reading and arithmetic, students in Autauga County Schools will be learning more about robotics soon. Teachers, who walked into the training with little to no experience, say they left feeling inspired.

“You’re placed in the role of a student. You kind of see it through their lenses, so you get to strategize, you get to do a little process of elimination, critical thinking,” said science teacher Gylendora Davis.

“Even by lunch yesterday and after lunch when they actually had a robot built and they were driving it and programming it, the smiles and the laughing and everything, you could just tell they had become more comfortable with it,” said Jennifer Spencer, assistant director of Southeastern Center of Robotics Education.

The training also included a trip to Hyundai, where robots on a much larger scale are put into action every day.

Now, teachers will be able to incorporate robotics into their existing curriculum. They’ll also offer after-school robotics clubs in an effort to better prepare students for future high-tech careers.

“Workforce ready is teaching them those soft skills, it’s teaching them critical thinking skills, and is preparing them for what most of your industry, especially in the automotive industry, what they’re looking for,” said Davis.

Autauga County Schools are just the latest in long line of Alabama school systems to offer specialized robotics education. Montgomery Public Schools began rolling out additional robotics courses in 2022.

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