June 12, 2019

Bringing Coding and Robotics Education to Northern Saskatchewan

Innovation Saskatchewan has developed a program that brings robotics into classrooms in northern Saskatchewan.  RoboX is a program that teaches students digital literacy through building robots and coding.

The program consists of two parts:

  1. Training teachers fun ways to teach robotics and coding to their students; and
  2. Hosting hands-on workshops that will give students an opportunity to build and program robots while learning about the role of technology in our lives.

The program’s goal is to increase awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  Children exposed to those subjects at the elementary and high school levels are more likely to continue studying them after graduating.

“Technology is changing how we live and work, and digital skills such as coding and robotics are becoming more and more essential,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “RoboX will ignite a passion for lifelong learning, preparing these students for the jobs of the future.”

The program is aligned with the education curriculum, which makes it easy for teachers to incorporate it into their everyday lessons.

“We want to continue introducing innovative practices in Saskatchewan classrooms,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said.  “Programs such as this will provide our students with skills that will help prepare them for emerging careers in Saskatchewan’s growing tech sector.”

RoboX was developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Saskatoon Industry-Education Council (SIEC).  SIEC trained more than 28 teachers from 10 communities in northern Saskatchewan to incorporate robotics and coding into the education curriculum.  Saskatchewan Science Centre’s outreach team hosted the student engagement workshops at schools in those 10 communities.

“An initial pilot with the Northern Lights School Division and Lac La Ronge Indian Band engaged teachers in northern communities to learn about robotics from Kindergarten through to Grade 8 and how they connect to curricular outcomes,” SIEC Executive Director Janet Uchacz-Hart said.

“This pilot project with Innovation Saskatchewan takes a holistic approach to education with the integration of student learning and teacher training,” Saskatchewan Science Centre CEO Sandy Baumgartner said.  “We are grateful for their support in bringing it together.”