Bruno Montessori announces new robotics program
Published 2:57 pm Monday, October 16, 2023
By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY – Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy has just launched its new VEX Robotics program as part of its new initiative to give its students more STEM-based learning opportunities.
“We’re looking forward to offering this content because that’s where the world is going now,” Bruno’s Head of School, Susan Downs, said. “Our kids need to have more of those kinds of experiences.”
Students at Bruno will be learning about robotics through a program called ‘VEX’ described as “a complete STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and computer science journey for preschool through college students” by the program’s website.
VEX functions through a series of challenges and competitions that students compete in, at first locally and then on a national level. The program is so extensive that it was named the largest robotics competition in the world back in 2018 by the Guinness Book of Records.
“It’s a robotics system designed from the ground up where they build their robot to complete a new set of tasks that VEX sends out each year,” Downs said. “So you build your robot to do whatever tasks it needs to do, and you want your robot to do all of this as within a certain time limit.”
Students learn what the assigned task is from VEX several months in advance, and then they spend the time leading up the competition perfecting their robots.
“There’s coding involved, “Downs said. “There’s the actual building involved. There’s keeping a notebook with notes and procedures in it. All of that goes into the whole process, and then when you go to a competition, you’re competing from others in your age group and other schools in the area.”
Along with the new VEX robotics program, Bruno Montessori is also working on a new STEM Lab which is due to be completed in January of 2024.
“All students in grades one through eight will participate in STEM classes once a week,” Downs said. “These will be hands-on experiences that they get to participate in and receive precise instruction.”
Both of these new STEM-based initiatives are the latest in Bruno Montessori’s steps to continue to improve the overall quality of the education they offer to their students.
“We are a very progressive school, and we’re offering the same educational opportunities, if not more so than what they could get at any other school,” Downs said.